Attorney General Leslie Rutledge promised during her campaign to “wake up every morning” dreaming up ways to sue the federal government. She’s at it again this week, announcing that she is joining a lawsuit led by the Texas attorney general aiming to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The DACA program, created under the Obama administration, gives some legal protections to certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children, often called Dreamers. Without it, the 700,000 young immigrants participating in the program would lose eligibility for work permits and could force deportation. According to Department of Homeland Security data, there are an estimated 5,000 DACA recipients in Arkansas.
Rita Sklar, executive director of ACLU of Arkansas, issued the following statement, calling Rutledge’s gambit “an extreme anti-immigrant agenda” and a “cruel attack on Arkansans and our values”:
Once again, Attorney General Rutledge is wasting taxpayer money to attack Dreamers and end a program that is clearly constitutional and has overwhelming support among Americans. The Attorney General is advancing an extreme anti-immigrant agenda at the expense of Arkansas taxpayers and communities. This needs to stop. Dreamers are valued members of our communities, and America is the only home they’ve ever known. Attorney General Rutledge needs to abandon this cruel attack on Arkansans and our values. The ACLU of Arkansas will continue to stand in solidarity with Dreamers and all immigrants, and we urge our elected officials to do the same.