UC system sues Trump administration over repeal of DACA

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The University of California filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump administration Friday over its decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California against the Department of Homeland Security and its acting secretary Elaine Duke, is the first to be filed by a university in opposition of Trump’s DACA repeal, according to a UC press release issued Friday morning. The lawsuit was filed by the UC Board of Regents and UC President Janet Napolitano “on its own behalf and on behalf of all students currently enrolled at the University,” according to the complaint.

“Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led,” Napolitano said in the press release. “It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community.”

Napolitano, who served as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under the Obama administration from 2009-13, helped create the DACA program in 2012, which has since allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented people to legally live, work and study in the United States. There are an estimated 4,000 undocumented students currently enrolled in the UC system, of which 500 are at UC Berkeley. Of these 500 campus students, 400 are covered by the DACA program.

Meng So, the director of the Undocumented Student Program, or USP, described President Donald Trump’s decision to repeal DACA as a “knife to the soul of the nation,” adding that three times the amount of students are seeking out mental health drop-in support ever since the repeal was announced Tuesday.

“The lawsuit is a sign that we’ll be leaders that fight for justice and equity, and it’s an invitation to universities across California and across the country to join the fight,” So said. “It’s a powerful statement that we’re going to fight with and for our students.”

In the face of deportation, however, the undocumented students on campus have remained resilient and hopeful, So added.

On Tuesday evening, members of the Berkeley community gathered on Sproul Plaza in protest of Trump’s decision. The rally, organized by activist group By Any Means Necessary, included approximately 150 participants at its peak.

Napolitano held a press conference about 11:30 a.m. Friday to address the suit. During the conference, she said the suit makes three fundamental claims about the Trump administration’s actions to rescind DACA: It’s not supported by reasoned decision making, it didn’t follow the proper procedure and the decision violates the due process rights of the university and DACA students and staff under the U.S. Constitution.

She added that the University of California will also be advocating for Congress and other universities to respond to the Trump administration as well. She emphasized that this lawsuit would not only affect DACA recipients in California, but also nationwide.

“At the University of California, we see the exceptional contributions that the young Dreamers make everyday,” Napolitano said at the conference. “They really represent the spirit of the American dream, and by its action, the administration has dashed those dreams. We hope by this lawsuit to restore those dreams.”

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom also released a statement Friday afternoon, in which he announced his support of Napolitano’s lawsuit.

“I support this lawsuit on legal, moral, and economic grounds. President Trump has arbitrarily and unlawfully manufactured a crisis in the lives of fellow Californians,” Newsom said in his statement. “The U.C.’s DREAMers and its staff are integral to the academic and intellectual fabric of our campuses, and it is paramount that the University protects the future workforce and families of California.”

Check back for updates.

Contact Harini Shyamsundar, Chantelle Lee and Malini Ramaiyer at [email protected].

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  • Aradia Moon

    Hey Dreamers, please be aware that up here in British Columbia, we have a major shortage of K-12 teachers. If you are a teacher or still in school for that, in my personal and unqualified opinion, you may wish to look into Immediately applying to come here.
    I see stories on the news of prospective teachers still completing their education, who say on camera that their whole graduating class has already received job offers. This is due to a recent court decision mandating smaller class sizes in British Columbia. Good luck to all.

  • mogden

    If the UC system has the money to waste on this lawsuit, its budget should be significantly reduced.

  • David Power

    Yet more proof that Cultural Marxism, oops I mean contemporary Liberalism, is nothing but a contrived jumble of perverse contradictions based on Left-wing dogma, rather than any real world observable fact.

    For instance;

    – Leftists will tirelessly campaign for mass-cheap-labour-immigration and then rail against the low wage economy.

    – Leftists love to talk about how black lives matter but hate to talk about the greatest cause of unlawful deaths in the black community.

    – Leftists will champion all forms of diversity, except diversity of opinion.

    – Leftists are all for women’s rights, while also being all for the importation of a religion that treats women like dirt.

    – Leftists know absolutely everything there is to know about wealth-redistribution, and absolutely nothing about wealth-creation.

    – Leftists are vociferous advocates for the Democratic process, right up until the moment they lose an election.

    – Leftists will say that we need more diversity, while also saying; we are all the same.

    – Leftists are against political violence, with only one exception; their own.

    – Leftists are ardent defenders of free-speech, until you say something they don’t agree with.

    – Leftists are against all forms of monopoly and hate, but will reserve the sole and exclusive right to define both.

    – Leftists may not agree with your opinion, but will fight to their dying breath to protect your right to be silenced.

    They can hold these contradictory views because, in truth, they have no logic-based, robustly structured, consistent argument matrix.

    This is also why their language is always rhetorical, emotive, sensual, impulsive, hysterical, accusative but never rational.

    Which in turn, is why invoking logic, facts, irrefutable proof, superlative arguments, etc., is generally futile in dealing with them.

    Once you understand this, you’ll also understand why it’s always the Left you see rioting in the streets, attacking strangers and violently closing down debates.

    When your entire world view can not withstand the slightest critical scrutiny without unraveling, violence and censorship, are your only recourse.

  • CathodeGlow

    Undocumented and unafraid? OK, let’s see you charge back across the border and help rebuild Mexico.

    • TNT

      While the majority of people protected under DACA are Mexican nationals others are citizens of other countries. This is about legal migration. There are people around the world who expend time and resources to enter the US through the proper legal channels. DACA was saying to these people that their legal efforts are in vain because people who eschew immigration law will be rewarded with US citizenship (sometime in the future) for braking the law. This sends a bad message to law abiding people and law breakers. Those in the latter camp will simply reason that sooner or later they will reach their goals so why follow the law.

      • Giorgios Anapoulos

        The whole point of DACA is that the people it affects DID NOT BREAK THE LAW. Their parents broke the law by bringing them into the country. Difficult as it may be for you to believe, but children don’t have control over their parents’ decisions. If Jon Snow can forgive children for the sins of their fathers, then certainly you can too.

        • California Defender

          This is true until their 18th birthday. On that day, they become an adult illegal alien and subject to arrest and deportation.

        • TNT

          Yes, they are breaking immigration law. As a minor somebody can be held accountable for breaking a law. If a father stole a bicycle and gave it to his child then the child would be in possession of stolen property just the same. This issue concerns adults however and not children. Also, a person who is unaware of their immigration status and residing unlawfully in the US is still breaking the law because ignorance of the law does not absolve somebody of their crime. In conclusion, we are not discussing 5 year olds but adults who chose to continue breaking immigration law instead of following the proper legal channels like millions of people around the world who lawfully migrate into the US.

    • Giorgios Anapoulos

      Why would they “charge” across the border? Are you implying that these people are lower animals?

      Also, why do you think they should be held responsible for their parents’ crimes? Shouldn’t people only be held responsible for their own actions, and not the actions of others? What kind of conservative believes in abdicating personal responsibility and punishing people for the crimes of others?

      • California Defender

        Of course they are not being held responsible for the terrible actions of their criminal parents!

        But as I mentioned before, they become illegally present in the US upon their 18th birthday and are clearly breaking the law.

  • DonHonda

    Is this what to expect from DREAMers?:


    Ruben Navarrette: One Dreamer’s missed lesson in good character

  • FreedomFan

    So the leftists at Berkeley are suing Trump for cancelling Obama’s executive order? LOL.
    All this goofy thing will accomplish is to strengthen Trump’s appeal to normal people. More please.

    Obama even admitted that he didn’t have the authority to make up immigration law, but then his lawless regime did it anyway. Congress gets to make immigration law. Not the President–not the courts. If only there were some competent legal minds at Berkeley who could explain this to the antifa crowd.

  • combatoverrideswitch

    What a waste of time. The DACA was put in place by an executive order and can be repealed.

    • Giorgios Anapoulos

      quoting the article: “… and the decision violates the due process rights of the university and DACA students and staff under the U.S. constitution…” UC staff are American citizens, therefore entitled due process rights.

      Do you (1) believe that rescinding DACA does not violate the due process rights of UC staff? or (2) do you believe that the due process rights of US citizens are not worthy of a lawsuit?

      • Combat Override

        DACA was never lawful, its rescission, like the rescission of DAPA in June, would be a ministerial act that would not violate the Constitution or any statute.

        The Due Process claims are going to fail because none of the plaintiffs have liberty or property interests that courts have recognized as protected by the Due Process Clause.

  • hoapres

    What goes around comes around.

    This suit isn’t going anywhere.

    Let’s see.

    We are just canceling an executive order.

    • Giorgios Anapoulos

      Please define what you mean by “we”.

      Are you Jeff Sessions or Donald Trump? Or even an employee of the Justice Department? If not, it seems implausible that you have any connection with this executive order.

      • California Defender

        “We” as in “we the people”, the American people.

        And the American people are represented by their elected President, Donald Trump. So yes, WE rescinded an unconstitutional EO.

  • Jeff Chang

    So rescinding an executive order and referring it to Congess is worthy of a lawsuit?

    What procedures needed to be in place for the reversal of an executive order?

    Is the UC system wasting tuition for virtue signalling?

    • berk_res


    • Giorgios Anapoulos

      quoting the article: “… and the decision violates the due process rights of the university and DACA students and staff under the U.S. constitution…” UC staff are American citizens, therefore entitled due process rights.

      Do you (1) believe that rescinding DACA does not violate the due process rights of UC staff? or (2) do you believe that the due process rights of US citizens are not worthy of a lawsuit?

      • California Defender

        DACA was in violation of Article 2 of the Constitution which is why a majority of states had filed a lawsuit against it in 2014.

        But even if you ignore the unconstitutionality, due process was provided in that the President duly rescinded the EO, a function of his office. Not only that, but Trump was being VERY generous (far too generous, many say) in starting the 2 year sunset of the program in 6 months.