NEW YORK — Civil rights organizations in New York have asked a federal judge to let them challenge President Donald Trump’s planned phase out of a program shielding young immigrants from deportation.
The groups asked Tuesday to piggyback on an existing lawsuit brought last year by Martín Batalla Vidal, who was brought to the U.S. from Mexico by his parents when he was 7. Vidal is now 26.
Originally, Vidal had been fighting to revive an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that had been halted by the courts.
Groups including Yale Law School students, the National Immigration Law Center and the anti-poverty group Make the Road New York now want to amend that suit to take on Trump’s plan to dismantle the program entirely.
They say Trump’s rollback violates the Constitution because it is based on discrimination over race, ethnicity or national origin.
“This decision by Donald Trump is a direct attack on immigrant youth like me and on our families, and it’s based on one thing: the racist beliefs of a president who has been attacking Latinos and Mexicans since the first day of his campaign,” Vidal said in a written statement.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the administration is ending DACA because it believed President Barrack Obama’s creation of the program without Congressional approval was “an unconstitutional exercise of authority.”