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August 7, 2017

Open Records Request Filed As Part of Campaign by 10 ACLU Affiliates in States That Sent Trump an Ultimatum to Rescind DACA

LINCOLN, Neb — The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska, affiliates in 10 number of states, and the national ACLU filed open records requests today demanding copies of any communications between the Nebraska Office of the Attorney General and the federal government regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program.

This request follows a late June letter, sent by state officials from 10 states, including Nebraska, 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–over 3,000 in Nebraska–who came to this country as children and know no other home than Nebraska,” said Danielle Conrad, Executive Director. “Faith leaders, business leaders, agricultural leaders, educators and many other Nebraskans across the political spectrum support our young immigrant neighbors. Since its creation five years ago, the DACA program has enabled thousands of young Nebraskans to attend school, support their families, buy homes, begin careers, contribute to their communities, and pursue their dreams. This is about justice and about fairness. The ACLU of Nebraska renews our pledge to do all we can to support Dreamers in Nebraska and bring to light the political strategy of leaders like Attorney General Petersen who launch disappointing political attacks on these vulnerable young Nebraskans.”

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 Nebraska open records request is available here:

All of the state and national open records requests are available here:

The ACLU national release is available here: