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The University has launched a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s ending of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The U. filed the joint complaint on Nov. 3 in federal court in Washington, D.C., alongside Maria De La Cruz Perales Sanchez '18 and Microsoft.  

The Trump administration had announced the end of DACA on Sept. 5, subject to action from Congress. Yesterday, the administration said that they would not include the program in the current spending bill. 

Former President Barack Obama established DACA by executive order in 2012. It provides work authorization and relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. An estimated 17,400 immigrants in New Jersey are DACA recipients.   

The joint complaint explains that terminating DACA “severely harms her and other DACA-enrolled young people” as well as employers who hire such beneficiaries. The U.’s announcement comes after U. President Christopher Eisgruber '83 voiced his support of DACA previously in open letters to congressional leaders and Trump. The U. faculty also issued a letter supporting DACA beneficiaries. 

In a press release, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said that Microsoft was “deeply concerned” about the possibility of ending DACA. Smith added that changes to DACA would “drastically disrupt” the lives of roughly 800,000 Dreamers. “Although undocumented, these young people grew up in the United States,” wrote Smith, adding that they “attended our schools, built careers and started businesses, bought houses, started families and became part of our communities.” 

The lawsuit’s plaintiffs claim that DACA’s termination is a violation under the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, “including its guarantee of equal protection under the law, as well as the administrative Procedure Act,” the U. press release stated. 

In addition to Microsoft, companies such as Univision Communications, Inc., Google, Spotify, and IBM Corporation have voiced support on the issue, according the press release. 

DACA protects undocumented individuals who came to the United States as children from deportation and enables them to continue their work or education here. As part of the program and in order to remain protected individuals were required to provide the Department of Homeland Security, under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, with highly sensitive and personal information. Additionally, Dreamers, as DACA beneficiaries are known, were required to submit to a background check and pay a significant fee.

Since the government has promised that it would not use the information provided by DACA recipients, if the program ends, Dreamers will be more vulnerable to deportation. 

The U. contends that DACA’s termination will cause a “loss of critical members of its community,” according the press release. Additionally, Microsoft and its subsidiary LinkedIn have noted that they employ at least 45 DACA recipients in roles ranging from software engineers to financial analysts. 

At the time of publication, Perales Sanchez had not yet responded to requests for comment.

Princeton DREAM Team, an immigrant rights advocacy student group, has also not yet responded to requests for comment. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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