Berkeley Law dean Erwin Chemerinsky serves as counsel in lawsuit against Trump administration for DACA repeal

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UC Berkeley School of Law dean Erwin Chemerinsky will serve as counsel in a lawsuit against President Donald Trump for his repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

Ten lawyers will present the case Tuesday morning in San Francisco at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuit also listed the Department of Homeland Security and the acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke as defendants. The six plaintiffs are all DACA recipients,  three of which are UC students and alumni.

Luis Cortes Romero, an attorney for the case, noted that this particular case is the first in which “DACA recipients are suing on behalf of themselves.” He added that though he is not a plaintiff, he is a DACA recipient himself.

The Trump administration rescinded DACA on Sept. 5. The program allows young, undocumented individuals to receive services and certifications, such as work permits, health care and driver’s licenses.

“I think what the Trump administration is doing is unconstitutional,” Chemerinsky said. “The repeal of DACA did not follow proper procedure. The beneficiaries of DACA have a right to due process”

The legal reasoning behind the case rests in part on due process rights outlined in the constitution. The complaint states that DACA recipients have “constitutionally protected liberty and property interests … including their ability to renew their DACA status.”

“If you are going to make a material change in that policy, you cannot just wave a wand and it’s gone,” attorney Mark Rosenbaum said.  “There are particular procedures.”

The plaintiffs also contend that Trump’s repeal was motivated by “discriminatory intent and animus” specifically against Mexican nationals, individuals of Mexican heritage and Latinos.  The complaint cites that 93 percent of DACA applications are Latino or of Mexican heritage and a series of Trump’s tweets as evidence of “bias” against this population.

The university also sued Trump on Sept. 8, challenging the constitutionality of repealing Obama’s 2012 executive order. About 400 students at UC Berkeley are in the DACA program. DACA allows them to receive in-state tuition in California and apply for financial aid.

In a statement released by the White House on Sept. 5, the Trump administration stated that the creation of DACA directly “incentivized further illegal immigration” by minors and “(restored) the law.”

The repeal of the act will prevent the plaintiffs from pursuing their studies and careers, according to Cortes Romero. He and Rosenbaum heavily stress the current and future contribution the plaintiffs can offer to their communities.

“If the program is rescinded, the loss is not just in terms of what happens to these individuals’ lives, but to the hundreds of thousands of lives that these people affect,” Rosenbaum said. “We all have a stake in this.”

Contact Sophia Brown-Heidenreich at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sophiabrownh.

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  • Buddy Martin

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  • rychastings

    you guys do realize daca isnt a law right. it was obama acting unconstitutionally and overreaching into what should have been the powers of congress

  • Caterina Sforza

    Erwin Chemerinsky, you need to read the law.

    REQUIRED READING FOR Erwin Chemerinsky

    “Congress has complete authority over immigration. Presidential power does not extend beyond refugee policy.”

    “The President retains the ultimate decision making authority when determining the number of refugees to allow into the country during a given year.”

  • Eunice Richards

    Some” of the costs associated with illegal immigration.

    *The cost of educating illegal aliens children is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers $122,000 for EACH illegal alien.

    city, and state officials are appropriating millions of taxpayer
    dollars for legal fees to to file law suits and in defense of illegal
    aliens being deported.

    *2012 illegal aliens sent
    home $62 BILLION in remittances back to their countries of origin. This
    is why Mexico is getting involved in our politics.

    percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens. Does not
    include local jails and State Prisons. At 21,000 per year expense per
    inmate in Federal Prison—U do the math.

    Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens, I repeat 3
    MILLION a DAY to process Illegals in the Criminal justice system.

    *$2.2Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps),WIC, & free school lunches.

  • Victor Wong

    Why should unauthorized aliens who sneer at US law be granted any special privileges or rights? Does UC Berkeley turn a blind eye to test cheating, essay plagiarism or students who fail to pay for their tuition costs?

  • intranethatemachine

    I’m really curious as to what their argument will be. How is it ok for Obama to create DACA via EA but illegal for Trump to take it away via EA? Trump didn’t even go as far as the far-right wanted him to, leaving a healthy buffer for congress to do something. Isn’t a lawsuit against Trump focusing on the wrong branch of government?

    • BerCaley

      Given that the lawsuit has defendants my intuition is that they’re going to claim that Trump is violating the defendants existing rights which is reasonable. However, going forward for new immigrants who would normally qualify under DACA, yeah, it cometh with EA and it goeth with EA.

  • Ash55

    Since they are not even legally present here, how can they file a legal claim to remain here???? STOP THIS MADNESS,!! America is NOT their home!!!!!

  • Ash55

    Only in California….!! Rosenbaum, Obama waved a magic wand and voila, 800,000 ILLEGAL ALIENS (who have robbed the tax payers of $135 BILLION each year), were suddenly converted into DACAS!! Trump waved that same magic wand, moron! And show me where they have “Constitutional rights”??? Last time I looked at the Constitution, there was no mention of rights for ILLEGAL ALIENS or DACAS,!!!!

    Please , everyone, kick these filthy illegal alien SCUM out of our country!!!! The ONLY rights these vermin have are those bestowed upon them by MEXICO!! Save the BILLIONS upon BILLIONS spent on these BESTERDS on your OWN children and grandchildren!!! Go file lawsuits in Mexico and PROTEST and DEMAND in your own streets!!


  • FreedomFan

    Erwin Chemerinsky is a goofy fool. Berkeley should be embarrassed to be paying his salary.

    Here’s a clue, Democrats:

    The U.S. CONGRESS establishes immigration law through legislation. Not the president. Not the courts.

    Is this really so difficult for a supposed “law professor” to understand?

    • intranethatemachine

      Erwin Chemerinsky isnt’ some social justice nutbag, he was staunchly committed for and actively defended free speech on campus, as recently as a few weeks ago.

      • California Defender

        If you look at his opinions, he is pretty far to the left. On the topic of free speech, he has certainly supported it more than his leftist colleagues at Berkeley, but it is still lukewarm.

        In a NYT article on Sept 26, 2017, he said:

        “This university spent $600,000 to facilitate Ben Shapiro coming, and it
        was estimated if Milo Yiannopoulos came, it would cost $1 million. It’s not sustainable for this campus on a weekly basis to facilitate free speech while protecting public safety.”

        In other words, only cheap free speech is acceptable.

        Ultimately, this lawsuit against Trump is for publicity and has no merit, much like a diploma from Berkeley.

        • intranethatemachine

          “This is a public university. The first amendment applies. Above all, the first amendment means that all ideas and views can be expressed on a college campus. The government, including public university administration can never prevent or punish speech because of the viewpoint expressed. … The supreme court has made it clear that speech cannot be prevented, speech cannot be punished, just because it’s hateful or offensive.” — UC Berkeley Faculty Panel on Free Speech, 9/10/2017 (see youtube for vid).

          • California Defender

            Fantastic. A panel of faculty came up with what is self-evident to a 6th grader.

            So why is Berkeley still not doing that?

  • Eunice Richards

    LOL Your tax dollars at work.