The California Attorney General's Office has been on the front lines of countless fights defending the rights of immigrants in California. That work is especially important to California – a state that is home to more immigrants than any other state. Nearly 11 million people living in California, about one in four, are immigrants.
The Attorney General's Office has taken several actions to defend the rights of immigrants, including:
- Defended Dreamers and challenged the repeal of DACA.
- Opposed the Trump Administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census.
- Challenged the Trump Administration’s attempt to illegally divert funding to build the President’s border wall.
- Pushed back against the Trump Administration’s public charge rule.
- Fought the Trump Administration’s discriminatory Muslim travel ban.
- Pushed back against the Trump Administration’s heartless policies on family separation and detention of children.
- Protected programs like Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departures and challenged new limits affecting asylum seekers and refugee resettlement in the U.S.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
In January 2018, the Attorney General's Office obtained the first nationwide preliminary injunction against the Trump Administration, which prevented the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) pending litigation.
The Attorney General's Office work defending DACA recipients and the preliminary injunction, has allowed nearly all current DACA recipients to renew their protections and stay working and studying in the only home they have ever known. The Attorney General has taken his lawsuit challenging the repeal of DACA all the way to the Supreme Court.
For additional information, including timeline of DACA legal actions, frequently asked questions and resources for DACA recipients, see here: https://oag.ca.gov/daca.
The Attorney General's Office took the Trump Administration to court over its decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau questionnaire. An accurate population count of all individuals – regardless of citizenship status – is mandated every ten years under the U.S. Constitution. In addition to determining Congressional representation and distribution of federal funding, an accurate population count enables states and localities to identify the need for critical services like disaster relief, infrastructure projects, public health assistance, schools, and police and fire protection.
In March 2018, the Attorney General's Office filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the Trump Administration over its decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census Bureau questionnaire. The Attorney General's Office alleged that including a citizenship question in the 2020 U.S. Census questionnaire violates Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, which requires the “actual Enumeration” of all people in each state every ten years, and the Administrative Procedure Act’s prohibition against “arbitrary and capricious” agency action.
In July 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the Trump Administration’s argument for including citizenship question on the U.S. census. The Trump Administration conceded and left the question off the 2020 U.S. Census.
The Attorney General's Office has led the charge to stand up – multiple times – to the Trump Administration’s unlawful attempts to illegally divert billions of taxpayer dollars toward construction the President’s border wall. The Attorney General's Office challenged the President’s unlawful attempts to divert funding toward construction of a border wall because the diversion of funding violated the Constitution, undermined State laws and harmed the environment.
In a separate lawsuit, the Attorney General's Office challenged the Trump Administration’s diversion in the 2020 fiscal year of more than $3.8 billion in funds that Congress appropriated to the Department of Defense. More than 20 percent, $890 million, of those funds had been allocated to state National Guard units for the purchase of equipment critical to responding to natural disasters and other emergencies. Litigation in these cases is ongoing.
Attorney General's Office has fought against the Trump Administration’s public charge rule every step of the way. The rule unnecessarily targets working immigrants and their families by turning the use of critical health, nutrition, and housing programs that supplement their modest incomes into barriers to lawful admission to the United States.
In 2018, Attorney General's Office called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to withdraw its initial public charge proposal. In 2019, Attorney General's Office detailed how the rule will negatively impact California’s public health, social services, housing, educational programs, and economy. Shortly afterward, the Attorney General filed a lawsuit asserting the rule will have a chilling effect that will discourage many other immigrants, who are not otherwise subject to the rule, from accessing benefits that they need. The Attorney General also filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the rule’s implementation.