New York: Fifteen states and the District of Columbia on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in New York challenging President Donald Trump’s plan to end protections and benefits for young people who were brought into the United States illegally as children.
The suit was announced by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
The plaintiffs are - New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
Trump`s decision on Tuesday to end the five-year-old program instituted by former president Barack Obama plunged almost 800,000 young people, known as 'Dreamers', into uncertainty.
The move drew criticism from business and religious leaders, mayors, governors, Democratic lawmakers, unions and civil liberties advocates.
Trump shifted responsibility to a Congress controlled by his fellow Republicans, saying it was now up to lawmakers to pass immigration legislation that could address the fate of those protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
DACA, which provides work permits and protection from deportation, primarily benefits Hispanics.
Most people covered by the program are in their 20s.
Meanwhile, Obama has called decision to end DACA 'cruel, self-defeating and wrong'.
"Let`s be clear, the action taken isn`t required legally. It`s a political decision, and a moral question," Obama said in a post on Facebook.
"Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn`t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us," he wrote.
To target hopeful young strivers who grew up here is wrong, because they’ve done nothing wrong. My statement: https://t.co/TCxZdld7L4
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) September 5, 2017
(With Reuters inputs)