October 23, 2017
AFT and UFCW Join in NAACP’s Lawsuit to Protect DACA
Groups Cites Trump’s Disregard of Due Process for DACA Recipients
Baltimore—Two of the nation’s most powerful unions joined the NAACP in a lawsuit defending DACA against the Trump administration’s attempts to end the program.
Today, the American Federation of Teachers and the United Food and Commercial Workers joined the NAACP’s lawsuit citing a lack of due process for DACA recipients and the Trump’s administration’s failure to undertake the required “analysis or rulemaking procedures required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act and the Administrative Procedure Act” –laws designed to protect the public against abuses of power.
“The NAACP welcomes AFT and UFCW in standing against President Trump’s decision to renege on access to the American dream,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP. “In rescinding DACA, the President tells thousands of DREAMERS and their families that that America does not care about them. The President’s actions will only result in broken families and shattered aspirations. Together, we must live up America’s promise of hope for those suffering from violence, oppression or lack of opportunities coming to our shores yearning for freedom and a better life.”
In September, the NAACP filed suit against President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Homeland Secretary Elaine Duke, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, in defense of people of color eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
In a strategy to protect many of its DACA eligible members who originate from African and Caribbean nations, the NAACP alleged in its lawsuit that the Trump Administration unlawfully reneged on government promises inherent in DACA to protect young, undocumented immigrants of color living in the United States. The NAACP also alleges a violation of both the Due Process Clause and the Administrative Procedure Act and the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
“While we support the effort to find a bipartisan solution to protect the rights of DACA recipients, ending DACA without regard to due process or proper rulemaking is not only a betrayal of the 800,000 individuals who have always and only called the United States their home, it needlessly jeopardizes the rights and procedures that protect every American citizen,” said Marc Perrone, president of the UFCW International Union.
“No matter one’s politics or the administration, every person in this country deserves due process. Moreover, our government can’t function without adhering to certain rules and procedures. Ignoring them jeopardizes the rights and freedoms of us all,” he added.
AFT and UFCW decision to join in the lawsuit highlights the growing unity support for DACA in the face of the current attempt to eliminate such a well-received program that impacts all sectors of society.
“By terminating DACA, President Trump is exploiting fear, pandering to those who want to scapegoat immigrants and using DACA recipients as a political football,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “The AFT will use every legal and practical resource at our disposal to ensure Dreamers continue to thrive in the country they proudly call home.”
AFT and UFCW join a growing list of organizations taking strong public and now legal stands against the attempts to end DACA.
“With the addition of the American Federation of Teachers and the United Food and Commercial Workers to this case, this powerful alliance of leaders of the civil rights and labor communities presents a formidable challenge to the Administration’s proposed repeal of the DACA Program,” said Joseph M. Sellers, Partner at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC, which represents the NAACP in the lawsuit.
While often seen as an issue solely impacting individuals from Central and South America, according to a report from the Migration Policy Institute; about 36,000 immigrants of African origin were also eligible for the DACA program. Additionally, the report shows that over 20,000 youth from Caribbean nations of the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are eligible for DACA.