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Princeton, Microsoft move US court to protect Dreamers

IANS | San Francisco |

Princeton University, one of its students and Microsoft have filed a lawsuit against federal governments decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme that shields undocumented immigrants and allows them to continue their studies or work in the country.

The complaint, filed in federal court in Washington, DC after US President Donald Trump ruled out allowing Congress to include any legislation to provide a solution for so-called “DREAMers” in the spending bill this year — alleges that DACA’s termination violated both the United States Constitution and federal law.

“In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that the government’s actions violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution, including its guarantee of equal protection under the law, as well as the Administrative Procedure Act,” a statement from the university read late on Friday.

In September, Trump announced that he was ending the programme, implemented in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama, which shielded some 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country by their parents as children, known as “DREAMers”.

Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez, the Princeton undergraduate bringing the legal challenge, has been a beneficiary of the DACA programme.

The complaint explained that the termination of DACA severely harms her and other DACA-enrolled young people and “the employers and educational institutions that rely on and benefit from their contributions.”

It asks for a declaration that the DACA programme is lawful and constitutional, and for an injunction that both stops the administration from terminating DACA and prevents the government from using the information provided by Dreamers against them or for purposes of immigration enforcement.

According to the complaint, Princeton “will suffer the loss of critical members of its community” if DACA’s rescission is left to stand.

The presence of the Dreamers on campus “helps fulfill Princeton’s educational mission,” in which “diversity and inclusion” play a central role, the university said.

Soon after it was reported that Trump might roll back the programme, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had criticised the move.

Nadella said he was product of the enlightened immigration policy that allowed him to pursue his dreams.

He added that the priority must be to create more jobs and opportunity for every American citizen and “on top of this, smart immigration can help our economic growth and global competitiveness”.

Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn currently employs at least 45 DACA recipients.

Apart from Microsoft, tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, AT&T, Lyft, Tesla, Uber and hundreds of other companies have extended their support to DACA and the Dreamers.