New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is criticizing President Trump’s decision to wind down DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program that grants two-year work permits to undocumented people who came to the U.S. as minors. Trump has indicated he’d like the program to taper off over the next six months.
Cuomo says the state will take action to protect the so-called “DREAMers,” the immigrants who entered the country illegally with their parents, adding that the decision to end DACA is “feeding the beast of bigotry red meat.”
He says it goes against everything that New York stands for.
“They have declared war on immigrants. By the way, the war on immigrants isn’t against all immigrants. It’s not against the white immigrants. It’s against the black and the brown.”
Cuomo and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman say the state will sue the federal government in order to protect its sovereign interest in the fair and equal application of the law.
There are approximately 42,000 DREAMers in New York State, 14,000 of whom live on Long Island.
Meanwhile, Connecticut Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy called Trump a coward for ending DACA.
“He went from place to place to place during his campaign to say that he was going to do what he’s done, but when it came time to make the actual announcement, he shooed poor Attorney General Sessions out the door and had him do it. So the President is a coward.
Malloy says Trump is ignoring the good that DACA has done for its recipients.
“We are talking about people who speak no other language, in most cases, than English. No other land, came here as infants, and of course we should treat them differently than we treat other folks, particularly after we’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to educate them.”
Malloy says he’s talking with state Attorney General George Jepsen about Connecticut joining other states, including New York, in lawsuits against the move. The governor says he supports Congress taking up the matter and blames Trump for ending DACA without offering a proposal to Congress.
Also in Connecticut, students and their supporters rallied across the state and in Washington, D.C., in protest of Trump's decision.
Jose Diaz, a senior at Central Connecticut State University, says he is lucky that he just renewed his DACA permit before the program ends in March. Speaking from a protest in D.C., he says his brother’s permit expires in April and he worries he will not be able to renew it.
“We’re trying to understand exactly what this means and trying to build a plan. Me and my brother actually being here in D.C., we’re taking it upon ourselves to be a part of this movement right now and to go back to Connecticut and to continue to fight as well.”
Diaz says some protesters plan to meet with elected officials on Capitol Hill after their stop at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services headquarters. He says he hopes that Congress will create a pathway to citizenship for DREAMers like him.
In New Haven, Mayor Toni Harp says she will support students like Diaz by working with Connecticut's congressional delegation to encourage a bipartisan immigration law.
“Congress has an opportunity to act within these six months, so what I’m going to be doing is working with our federal delegation to assure that they are advocates and pull together people. I think this is a great time to work with people across the aisle.”
Harp added that she will protect New Haven residents.
“My corporation counsel’s office is ready to work with lawyers across this country to protect anyone that our federal authorities try to destabilize and remove from this country.”
She says families who have relatives fearing deportation can find a guidebook at New Haven City Hall to help them prepare for the worst.
A protest was planned for 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday next to the New Haven Green.
In Stamford, protesters planned for a rally on Tuesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. outside of Trump Parc, which is managed by the Trump Organization. Stamford Mayor David Martin will address the crowd.
Connecticut is home to approximately 8,000 DREAMers.