Open Records Request Filed As Part of Campaign by Ten ACLU Affiliates in States That Sent Trump an Ultimatum to Rescind DACA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2017
CONTACT: Lindsay Kee, 615-320-7142
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, affiliates in nine other states, and the national ACLU filed open records requests today demanding copies of any communications between state and federal officials, including the Tennessee Office of the Attorney General, regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program.
This request follows a late June letter, sent by state officials from 10 states, including Tennessee, to Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding that the Trump administration end the DACA program. If the administration does not agree by September 5 to end DACA, the states threaten to amend an existing lawsuit in front of Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas to challenge the lawfulness of the program.
The state officials may have a supportive ally in longtime DACA opponent Attorney General Sessions. In January 2017, Sessions said that DACA is “very questionable, in my opinion, constitutionally.” And responding to the states’ June 2017 letter, Sessions said, “I like it that our states and localities are holding the federal government to account and expecting us to do our responsibility to the state and locals, and that’s to enforce the law.”
“The DACA program is a critical lifeline for nearly 800,000 young immigrants who came to this country as children and know the United States as their home,” said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee executive director. “Since its creation, this program has enabled over 8,300 young Tennesseans to attend school, support their families, buy homes, begin careers, contribute to their communities, and pursue their dreams. The public has a right to know if our state government is coordinating with the Trump administration in an attempt to shut down this constitutional and well-regarded program.”
As today’s request states, “it remains unclear whether the United States will maintain its defense of the DACA program. … [The] statements [from Attorney General Sessions] raise serious questions regarding the United States’ commitment to defending the legality of [the] DACA program against the States’ threatened litigation, as well as questions about possible communications regarding the Texas litigation between the States and members of the Trump administration.”
The ACLU of Tennessee open records request is available here: http://www.aclu-tn.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/2017-08-07-AG-DACA-OR-Request-REDACTED.pdf
All of the state and national open records requests are available here: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-files-open-records-requests-states-gave-trump-administration-ultimatum-rescind-daca
The ACLU national release is available here: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-files-open-records-requests-states-gave-trump-administration-ultimatum-rescind-daca