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Minnesota joins other states in lawsuit to keep childhood immigrant program

Lori Swanson. Swanson was elected Attorney General of the State of Minnesota in 2006, and reelected in 2010 and 2014. She is Minnesota’s 29th Attorney General and its first female Attorney General. Courtesy photo

ST. PAUL—Minnesota and other states on Monday filed suit against the federal government, claiming the proposed end of the DACA program that offered protection for childhood immigrants violated the constitution and federal law.

"The lawsuit alleges that the federal government's rescission of DACA violates the promises made to these young people—97 percent of whom are in school or in the workforce—who have relied on the law to make important decisions about their lives," Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a statement. The suit is being brought by officials in Minnesota, California, Maine, and Maryland.

Last week, the Trump administration said it would 'phase out' the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, started in 2012 by the Obama administration, which allowed people who immigrated to the United States illegally as children consideration to work and live without fear of deportation. About 800,000 people had been approved for the program, nearly 6,300 in Minnesota.

The Trump administration said that if the program is to continue after six months, Congress would have to approve it. Soon after his administration announced the program would end, President Donald Trump tweeted that he may revisit the issue if Congress does not act.

Congress now has 6 months to legalize DACA (something the Obama Administration was unable to do). If they can't, I will revisit this issue!

Last week, 15 states — Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, New York plus the District of Columbia — sued over the plan to rescind the program.

Minnesota was not among that initial wave last Wednesday but Swanson, a Democrat, said that a suit would be coming over the issue.

That separate suit, in which Minnesota was joined by three other states, was filed on Monday. About a quarter of the people who had been accepted into the program live in California.

Politico reports that the University of California, one of the nation's largest systems, also filed a separate suit last week.

The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.