California sued the Trump administration Monday over its decision to end a program that gives protection from deportation to young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children or by parents who overstayed visas.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he was joined in his suit by the attorney generals for Maryland, Maine and Minnesota. The lawsuit alleges the Trump Administration violated the Constitution and other laws when it rescinded the program.
The lawsuit makes largely procedural arguments, including that federal law requires that such decisions be made for sound reasons and only after the public has a chance to make formal comments. It said the administration also failed to follow a federal law requiring it to consider negative effects of the decision on small businesses.
It also cites the Fifth Amendment's due process guarantee in warning that the administration and immigration officials could use information provided by program participants to deport them and prosecute their employers. The suit said that would amount to misusing sensitive information that was provided in good faith by program participants.
Becerra told The Associated Press last week that California would file its own lawsuit because more than 200,000 of the 800,000 participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program live in the state and that California would be the state hit hardest by the end of the program.
But the lawsuit mirrors a suit already filed in New York by 15 states and the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs include New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
The University of California has also filed a legal challenge to ending the program.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session announced last week that new applications for the program are being halted and that it will end in six months if Congress does not take action.
Sessions said President Barrack Obama's creation of the program without Congressional approval was "an unconstitutional exercise of authority."
But the states' lawsuit says the administration still must follow federal procedural laws if it wants to end the program.