Attorney General Stein takes a principled and courageous stand

By: - September 7, 2017 1:45 pm
Attorney General Josh Stein

In case you missed it, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has joined with 14 other state attorneys general in a federal court challenge to the Trump administration’s cruel and destructive decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in New York yesterday, asks the court to declare the Trump order unconstitutional and unlawful and to prohibit the administration from “using information obtained in any DACA application or renewal request to identify, apprehend, detain, or deport any DACA applicant or member of any DACA applicant’s family, or take any action against a DACA applicant’s current or former employer….”

For those looking for a good explanation of the destructive impact that DACA repeal would have in North Carolina, pages 26-28 of the complaint do a fine job. You can find some excerpts after the page break.

Kudos to Stein for representing our state so well. Let’s hope the court issues a swift and stern rebuke to Trump.

Immigration is a vital catalyst to North Carolina’s economy. According to a study conducted by the Latino Migration Project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in 1990, only 1.7% of the State’s population was foreign-born. By 2014, that proportion had increased to 7.6%. This demographic change is due, in large part, to industries’ recruitment of foreign-born individuals, primarily of Latin American origin to fill available jobs that have been created as a result of the expansion of North Carolina’s economy. See Ex. 87 (Latino Migration Project, DACA Program in North Carolina, Perspectives from Immigrants and Community-Based Organizations, Jan. 2017)….
By 2012, as estimated 350,000 people (44% of the state’s immigrant population) did not have legal immigration status. See Ex. 81 (Pew Research Center, U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Population Estimates, Mar. 2015)….
After the institution of the DACA program in 2012, North Carolina had one of the highest application rates to DACA in the nation. Out of an estimated 26,000 eligible people, 75% had applied to the DACA program. By June 2014, USCIS had approved almost 21,000 applications….
North Carolina has one of the largest undocumented high school populations in the country, with close to 31,000 undocumented students enrolled as of 2015. See Ex. 82 (Technician, Immigrants Still Face Obstacles To Go To College Despite DACA, Mar. 2015). There are a total of 16 public universities in North Carolina, enrolling nearly 225,000 students. See Ex. 83 (University of North Carolina, Our 17 campuses). Affected students attend these universities, as well as North Carolina’s community and technical colleges. Rescinding DACA permits will cause students currently enrolled to leave North Carolina community and technical colleges and universities. In addition, future DACA students may be prevented from finishing their high school education or from enrolling in North Carolina’s colleges and universities. These harms damage the educational mission of North Carolina’s institutions of higher learning and affect their tuition revenues….
According to the 2010 census, North Carolina is the ninth wealthiest state in terms of gross domestic product. See Ex. 85( Greyhill Advisors, GDP By State). Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city is the second largest banking center in the United States. See Ex. 84 (North Carolina History Project, Charlotte Soars To Become The Nation’s Second Largest Financial Center). The Research Triangle Park, home to more than 170 companies and federal agencies, is the largest and oldest continuously operating research and science park in the United States. See Ex. 86 (Research Triangle Park). The market to employ skilled workers to fuel these expanding economies is highly competitive. Rescinding work authorization for DACA recipients will cripple the ability for North Carolina’s companies to attract and maintain a robust workforce, adversely affecting the companies’ ability to develop and deliver products and services. In addition, the inability to maintain a workforce may induce companies to relocate out of North Carolina….
DACA recipients make significant contributions to North Carolina’s tax base. The DACA program has encouraged tens of thousands of individuals to secure driver’s licenses, continue their education, obtain employment, secure better employment or benefits, and integrate themselves into the fabric of North Carolina society….
The rescission of DACA creates upheaval in the operation of state-run programs, including programs relating to public benefits and scholarships, as well as in the operation of North Carolina’s private economy. One expert estimates that rescinding the DACA program will cost North Carolina 7.8 billion dollars over the next ten years. See Ex. 4 (Decl. Brannon, Table 1)….
As a result of the DHS Memorandum, North Carolina’s residents, families, and businesses will suffer physical and economic harms. In addition, DHS Memorandum also harms North Carolina’s proprietary interests.”

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Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

NC Newsline Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors and voices regular commentaries, and hosts the 'News & Views' weekly radio show/podcast.