OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today called on President Donald Trump to defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.
More than 34,000 Dreamers live in Washington, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“Coming out of the shadows through the DACA program allowed these Dreamers to buy homes, get an education, and report crimes to police without fear of deportation,” Ferguson said. “All of that makes our communities stronger and better places to live. I’m prepared to support efforts to defend DACA by all appropriate means, including court action.”
On June 29, Texas and nine other states sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding the Trump Administration end the DACA program, under threat of litigation.
In a letter sent today, Ferguson and 19 attorneys general urge Trump to continue the DACA program, and defend it in court if needed.
“Since 2012, nearly 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to this country as children have been granted DACA after completing applications, submitting to and passing a background check, and applying for a work permit,” the letter states. “In the case of young adults granted DACA, they are among our newest soldiers, college graduates, nurses and first responders. They are our neighbors, coworkers, students and community and church leaders. And they are boosting the economies and communities of our states every day. In fact, receiving DACA has increased recipients’ hourly wages by an average of 42 percent and given them the purchasing power to buy homes, cars and other goods and services, which drives economic growth for all.”
In 2015, Ferguson led a coalition of 15 attorneys general supporting the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program against a separate legal challenge.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Brionna Aho, Interim Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; firstname.lastname@example.org