Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today released the following statements regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy:
“Recent reports indicate that President Trump will be ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy,” Governor Cuomo said. “If he moves forward with this cruel action, New York State will sue to protect the ‘dreamers’ and the state’s sovereign interest in the fair and equal application of the law.
“Ending this policy represents an assault on the values that built this state and this nation. The President’s action would upend the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people who have only ever called America their home, including roughly 42,000 New Yorkers. It will rip families apart, sow havoc in our communities and force innocent people—our neighbors, our friends, and our relatives—to live in fear.
“We should not and cannot sit on the sidelines and watch the lives of these young people ruined. We have both a legal and moral obligation to make sure that the laws are faithfully executed without discrimination or animus.
“In New York, we are stepping up to protect immigrants. This year, we launched the first in the nation Liberty Defense Project to ensure all immigrants have access to quality legal representation, regardless of their status.
“New Yorkers know that we are a nation of immigrants. If there is a move to deport immigrants, then I say start with me. I come from a family of immigrants who came to this country without jobs, without money, without resources—seeking only the promise of America embodied by the Lady in our Harbor. New York has and will continue to raise the torch of hope and opportunity, not fear, and we open our arms to all who want to join our community.”
Attorney General Schneiderman said, “President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program would be cruel, gratuitous, and devastating to tens of thousands of New Yorkers—and I will sue to protect them. Dreamers are Americans in every way. They played by the rules. They pay their taxes. And they’ve earned the right to stay in the only home they have ever known. More than 40,000 New Yorkers are protected under DACA. They pay more than $140 million in state and local taxes. They are vital members of our community. The poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty—written by the descendant of early Jewish immigrants—promises this nation will “lift its lamp” for the huddled masses. New York will never break that promise. And neither will my office.”