Princeton, Microsoft Sue U.S. in Bid to Save 'Dreamers' Program

  • Tech giant and Ivy League school say DACA’s end hurts them
  • Trump in September set a March 5 sunset for deferred action

The Defend DACA March in Los Angeles, California, on Sept. 10, 2017.

Photographer: David McNew/Getty Images

Princeton University and Microsoft Corp. sued the Trump administration in a bid to save the “Dreamer” program, which allowed people who unofficially entered the U.S. as children to remain in the country and lawfully hold jobs if they met certain criteria.

President Donald Trump said in September the Obama-era program formally known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals -- or DACA -- would end in March unless Congress crafted a long-term solution. President Barack Obama created DACA via a 2012 policy directive.

The tech giant and the Ivy League school, with one of its students, filed their lawsuit opposing the program’s end on Friday at a U.S. court in Washington, contending the termination hurts each of them. They seek a declaration that DACA’s sudden end was unlawful and unconstitutional, and an order barring its rescission.

Those suing claim the rescission violated the federal Administrative Procedure Act, which mandates that repeal of government regulations be preceded by public notice and an opportunity for comment. The failure to follow those steps was arbitrary and capricious, according to the complaint.

A representative of the Justice Department declined to immediately comment on the lawsuit.

DACA enabled those who came to the U.S. illegally as children to apply for permission to remain and to work lawfully for two years, provided they didn’t have a serious criminal record and were in school or had obtained a degree. Once granted, that status could also be renewed, but it didn’t provide a path to citizenship.

"The Dreamers have upheld their end of the bargain,” according to the complaint, "but the same cannot be said of the United States."

The case is Trustees of Princeton University v. United States, 17-cv-2325, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

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