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U. of C. sues over Trump immigrant decision; school president speaks in Grand Rapids

SAN FRANCISCO/GRAND RAPIDS (AP/FOX 17) — The University of California sued the Trump administration Friday over its decision to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation, saying thousands of its students and some faculty would be affected if they are ordered to leave the country.

University President Janet Napolitano, who was Homeland Security secretary in the Obama administration and helped implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, is listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco.

Napolitano said it's important for the public university system to stand up for members of its community.

Napolitano was in Grand Rapids Friday for the inaugural Conference of Women Governors at Grand Valley State University.

"They represent the best of who we are — hard-working, resilient and motivated high achievers," she said. "To arbitrarily and capriciously end the DACA program, which benefits our country as a whole, is not only unlawful, it is contrary to our national values."

The program protects about 800,000 people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or came with families who overstayed visas. It currently includes hundreds of thousands of college-age students.

The lawsuit said the university will lose students and employees because of President Donald Trump's decision to end the program in six months if Congress doesn't take action first.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said President Barack Obama's decision to implement DACA was an unconstitutional exercise of his authority.

"While the plaintiffs in today's lawsuit may believe that an arbitrary circumvention of Congress is lawful, the Department of Justice looks forward to defending this Administration's position," DOJ spokesman Devin O'Malley said in a statement.

Fifteen states have sued separately over the president's decision, although California is not among them.

The UC system has about 4,000 students who are in the United States illegally, "a substantial number of whom have DACA, as well as teachers, researchers and health care providers who are DACA recipients," the university system said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

Napolitano said the university system could pursue damages for interference with the relationship it has developed with its students and staff and for deprivation or interference with the investment it has made in students to give them an education.

In a conference call with reporters, she said there was no conflict between her previous role as Homeland Security secretary and her decision to file the lawsuit.

"It went through a careful legal analysis. No court has ever held that DACA was illegal and I believe it to be a legal exercise of prosecutorial discretion," Napolitano said. "There's no conflict and no thought of recusal."

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3 comments

  • Bud

    This is how stupid our liberal education system is. The DACA Executive Order signed by Obama was UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The Executive Branch (the President) does not have the authority to make law – that is the responsibility of the Legislative Branch (congress). The Judicial Branch (courts) are responsible for interpreting the law and the Executive Branch is responsible for enforcing the law. Liberals always try to bring emotions (FEELINGS) into the argument because the truth (FACTS) never support their position. Bring back US History and Government courses.

    As an aside, why are our tax dollars supporting Illegal Aliens and not being used to feed hungry American kids?

  • Old Bob

    I am sure if they take their dumb a.. back to the country they came from they will be treated with dignity and respect. People come here, break the law. Then want the law changed to fit them. GO HOME