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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said they will file lawsuits if President Donald Trump ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA.
DACA is an immigration policy started during the Barack Obama administration that allows some undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as minors to receive a two-year renewable deferment from deportation.
Program participants also are eligible to get a work permit.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was expected to unveil the president’s decision on whether to keep DACA at a news conference on Tuesday. Reports indicated that Trump planned to end DACA, with a six-month delay to give Congress time to come up with an alternative.
“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.”
Schneiderman called the possible decision to end the DACA program “cruel, gratuitous and devastating.”
“Dreamers are Americans in every way,” he said. “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.”
In July, Ferguson and Schneiderman joined 18 other state attorneys general in a letter urging Trump to continue the DACA program. The group also promised to defend the program in court, if necessary.
The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.