Media Contact

Rebecca Seung-Bickley, (334) 420-1743, rseungbickley@aclualabama.org
Brock Boone, (334) 420-1747, bboone@aclualabama.org

August 7, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, affiliates in 10 states, and  the national ACLU filed open records requests today demanding copies of any communications between the Alabama 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 Alabama, 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 most certainly Constitutionally protected and does not contradict federal law: in fact, many other Presidents, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush,  have been using deferred action programs to protect immigrants from deportation since 1961.” said Lucia Hermo, Public Advocacy Director at the ACLU of Alabama. “The DACA particularly protects those who were brought into the United States as children and have grown up knowing this country as home. We must fight to ensure that our colleagues, classmates, and neighbors are treated with respect and dignity in a nation that is in every way theirs.”

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 Alabama open records request is available here: https://www.aclualabama.org/sites/default/files/field_documents/dacaopen...

All of the state and national open records requests are available here: https://www.aclu.org/other/aclu-files-open-records-requests-states-gave-...

The ACLU national release is available here: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-files-open-records-requests-states-gave-t...