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Washington AG talks lawsuits, defending DREAMers

Federal judges have sided with Ferguson in immigration cases

Washington+Attorney+General+Bob+Ferguson+speaks+at+the+Foley+Institute+on+Tuesday.+He+said+President+Donald+Trump%E2%80%99s+immigration+policy+proposals+are+illegal.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at the Foley Institute on Tuesday. He said President Donald Trump’s immigration policy proposals are illegal.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at the Foley Institute on Tuesday. He said President Donald Trump’s immigration policy proposals are illegal.

MICHAEL LINDER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

MICHAEL LINDER | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaks at the Foley Institute on Tuesday. He said President Donald Trump’s immigration policy proposals are illegal.

BREANNE SEARING, Evergreen reporter

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Washington’s attorney general, who has gained national attention for suing President Donald Trump’s administration over 20 times, said undocumented people deserve protection from deportation and deprivation of their rights without due process.

At a Foley Institute-hosted talk, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said there are approximately 800,000 DREAMers across the U.S. 18,000 of which reside in Washington. He said there are hundreds of thousands more undocumented people who do not qualify for protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Ferguson filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its plan to end DACA, which would lead to the deportation of undocumented people who were brought to the U.S. at a young age.

“Almost 80 percent of DREAMers are of Mexican descent,” Ferguson said, “and it is my viewpoint that if the overwhelming majority of DREAMers were Caucasian, we would not be having this conversation.”

The White House announced its decision to rescind DACA on Sept. 5, which stopped the processing of current DREAMer applications and renewals, and prevented new applications. Ferguson’s team officially filed its lawsuit Sept. 6.

“From my personal experience with working with DACA students as an adviser,” said Mary Ohnemus, a former WSU academic adviser who attended the talk, “they deserve to have a right to education and should not be deprived of opportunities because of where they were born.”

Ferguson said the lawsuit focuses on possible statutory violations involving the Administrative Procedure Act. The law requires certain government agencies to set aside time to gather feedback on policy change proposals. He said the Trump administration failed to notify agencies and did not gather feedback.

“So far, no federal judge or court has ruled against us in any cases and that won’t last forever,” Ferguson said, “but it is an indication that we know what we are doing.”

Agencies that have challenged DACA in the past fell short in their argument, he said, because DREAMers hold steady jobs and attend school. Shazzy Vann, a WSU political science student who attended the talk, agreed.

“DREAMers should have the ability to attend colleges,” Vann said, “because they are contributing members of society who offer the United States … cultural diversity.”

Of the 22 lawsuits Ferguson’s team has filed against the federal government, nine have upheld DACA provisions. Judges in federal courts have granted injunctions that have kept protections in place for the time being.

Ferguson said he believes the other lawsuits have a strong chance of continuing to confirm DACA’s constitutionality because courts ruling in his favor serve to strengthen others.

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Washington AG talks lawsuits, defending DREAMers