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US states sue Trump administration over amnesty program

(L to R) Paola Soria and Karla Collaguazo, both 20 and 'Dreamers' originally from Ecuador, listen to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' remarks on ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program on a smartphone before a protest in Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan, in this September 5, 2017 photo. (AFP)
NEW YORK: A coalition of US states sued the Trump administration Wednesday over its decision to end an amnesty program for 800,000 people brought illegally to the United States as minors.
The lawsuit was filed in New York federal court by Democratic attorneys general of 15 states including New York, Illinois and Hawaii, as well as the District of Columbia.
It alleges the White House discriminated against immigrants of Mexican origin, who are the vast majority of the amnesty program’s recipients, and violated Constitutional due process rights that protect against arbitrary punishment.
The Donald Trump administration said Tuesday it was ending the Deferred Acton for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted by Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama. The Republican president said Congress should instead enact immigration reform.
In announcing the lawsuit, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Trump of “anti-Mexican bias.”
“The Trump administration’s decision to end DACA is cruel, inhumane and devastating,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
“These DREAMers play by the rules. They work hard and pay taxes. America is the only home they have ever known — and they deserve to stay here and keep contributing to our state and our nation.”
The lawsuit comes after Texas, leading a different coalition of 10 conservative states, on Tuesday dropped a legal challenge to DACA first filed in 2015.