The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, affiliates in ten states, and the national ACLU filed open records requests today demanding copies of any communications between the Louisiana Office of the Attorney General and the federal government regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program.
This request follows a late June letter, sent by state officials from 10 states, including Louisiana, to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding that the Trump administration end the DACA program. If the administration does not agree by September 5 to end DACA, the states threaten to amend an existing lawsuit in front of Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas to challenge the lawfulness of the program.
The state officials may have a supportive ally in longtime DACA opponent Attorney General Sessions. In January 2017, Sessions said that DACA is “very questionable, in my opinion, constitutionally.” And responding to the states’ June 2017 letter, Sessions said, “I like it that our states and localities are holding the federal government to account and expecting us to do our responsibility to the state and locals, and that’s to enforce the law.”
“Attorney General Landry should be working to protect Louisianans, not target them,” said Marjorie Esman, ACLU of Louisiana executive director. “These dedicated young people have studied, worked and lived here in the United States since they were children, becoming integral parts of their communities.”
As today’s request states, “it remains unclear whether the United States will maintain its defense of the DACA program. [The] statements [from Attorney General Sessions] raise serious questions regarding the United States’ commitment to defending the legality of [the] DACA program against the States’ threatened litigation, as well as questions about possible communications regarding the Texas litigation between the States and members of the Trump administration.”