Trump to end DACA program; 19,000 recipients in Washington state

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that President Donald Trump will end the 2012 program implemented by former President Barack Obama that has deferred deportations for people who came to the U.S. undocumented as children.

Political and business leaders in Western Washington — including Gov. Jay Inslee, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — asked for Trump to uphold the program.

Scroll down to keep reading.



Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Monday that he would file a lawsuit if President Donald Trump cancelled DACA.

"If President Trump follows through on his reported decision to cancel DACA after a six-month delay, the Washington Attorney General's Office will file suit to halt this cruel and illegal policy and defend DACA recipients," Ferguson said in a statement. "We have been working closely with legal teams around the country, and we expect to be joined by other states in this action.

"As Attorney General, I will use all the legal tools at my disposal to defend the thousands of Dreamers in Washington state.”

In July, Ferguson joined with 19 other attorneys general in a letter urging President Trump to continue the DACA program. The group also promised to defend the program in court if necessary.

Here’s what to know about DACA and why many Western Washington leaders are concerned about it ending.

What is the DACA program?

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program protects people brought to the United States illegally as children from being immediately deported if they are picked up by immigration officials. The program began in 2012 as an executive order by former President Barack Obama.

The program allows those eligible to request “consideration of deferred action” (on their immigration status) for a period of two years. The deferred action is subject to renewal, and it does not provide lawful status.

Nearly 800,000 people are in the program. Nearly 19,000 DACA recipients live in Washington state, according the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.

>> To read more specifics about the requirement specifics, click here.

Why is the president ending the program?

A group of 10 state attorneys general has given the president a deadline of Sept. 5 to decide if the program will be continued. They say if Trump does not end the program by that date, they will file suit to end it.




Washington state is not among the attorneys generals participating, but you can read a list of who is here.

Why do they want it ended?

The letter requesting the executive order be “sunsetted” says the executive order creating the DACA program is unlawful.

How is the president expected to end it?

The president is expected to end the program by not accepting new permits and by allowing existing permits to expire with no opportunity to reapply, CBS News reports, citing two Republican sources.

That means if no one can renew their permits, up to 800,000 people could eventually be deported.




The message from the White House to Congress is that if lawmakers like DACA, they should write legislation for it, and the White House will consider it, likely favorably.

What are Washington state leaders doing?

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he will file a lawsuit.

Ferguson had signed a letter in July with 20 other attorneys general urging the president to keep DACA.

As the decision loomed, Governor Jay Inslee joined with nearly 2,000 political and civic leaders across the country to preserve DACA.

"One of the reasons we've got the number one economy in the country is that we welcome people with big dreams and these young people have big dreams," Inslee to Northwest Public Radio. "So we intend to defend it vigorously."

In Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray released a statement on the expected elimination.

“We will continue to stand with our friends and neighbors and ensure they know we want them to always call Seattle home,” he said.

How are local companies reacting?

The CEOs of Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks joined other businesses in asking Trump to keep the program in place, saying that the economy would take a hit if he does.

In an open letter signed by Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos, Starbucks' CEO Kevin Johnson, and Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella and president and chief legal officer Brad Smith, the companies claim that of the 800,000 DACA recipients, more than 97 percent are in school or in the workforce.




“Unless we act now to preserve the DACA program, all 780,000 hardworking young people will lose their ability to work legally in this country, and every one of them will be at immediate risk of deportation,” the letter says.” Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national GDP and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.”

At Microsoft, 27 employees are beneficiaries of DACA. Smith posted a separate letter on Microsoft's blog explaining the impact.

“Each of them is actively participating in our collective mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. They are not only our colleagues, but our friends, our neighbors and valued members of the Microsoft community,” he writes

Nadella published his own thoughts — an immigrant to the U.S. from India — to LinkedIn shortly after the blog post.

“As I shared at the White House in June, I am a product of two uniquely American attributes: the ingenuity of American technology reaching me where I was growing up, fueling my dreams, and the enlightened immigration policy that allowed me to pursue my dreams,” Nadella wrote.

“As a CEO, I see each day the direct contributions that talented employees from around the world bring to our company, our customers and to the broader economy. We care deeply about the DREAMers who work at Microsoft and fully support them. We will always stand for diversity and economic opportunity for everyone. It is core to who we are at Microsoft and I believe it is core to what America is.”