By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed federal Freedom of Information Act requests with 10 states’ attorneys general, including Alabama’s Steve Marshall, seeking correspondence between the AGs and the federal government over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The DACA program, started by the Obama administration in 2012, allows for deferred action against undocumented immigrant children who have mostly been raised in the U.S. and who have no criminal records. The program does not provide a pathway to citizenship, nor does it allow for access to social services.
DACA has been under scrutiny since the election of Donald Trump, and the state AGs believe they have an ally in overturning the law in U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. A June letter from the states was sent to Sessions and threatened that if the program isn’t ended by Sept. 5, the states would amend a lawsuit filed in Texas and seek to have the courts rule it illegal.
Sessions has been quoted saying that DACA is constitutionally questionable, according to the ACLU.
“The DACA program is most certainly Constitutionally protected and does not contradict federal law: in fact, many other Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, have been using deferred action programs to protect immigrants from deportation since 1961,” said Lucia Hermo, Public Advocacy Director at the ACLU of Alabama. “The DACA particularly protects those who were brought into the United States as children and have grown up knowing this country as home. We must fight to ensure that our colleagues, classmates, and neighbors are treated with respect and dignity in a nation that is in every way theirs.”
To get protection under DACA, an individual has to have entered the U.S. before his or her 16th birthday, be under the age of 31, be in school, a high school graduate or honorably discharged from the military.