NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - New York joined 14 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit against the federal government to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.
The announcement was met with cheers. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told a crowd of Dreamers at John Jay College that New York stands with them and will fight for them. He called the elimination of DACA "un-American."
The multistate lawsuit came just a day after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA will end in six months to give Congress time to come up with legislation.
Critics say President Trump's move was done with discriminatory intent.
Schneiderman said that 97 percent of Dreamers in New York are employed or go to school. They pay $140 million in state and local taxes.
About 800,000 dreamers live across the country; 93 percent are Latinos and more than 78 percent came from Mexico.
The Obama administration created DACA in 2012. It gives the Dreamers a two-year renewable work permit and protects them from deportation.
But the Trump administration called DACA unconstitutional. However, legal experts say the U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on its constitutionality.
"If any court ever gets to that question it would actually rule that the actions under DACA are authorized by the statues," Hofstra Professor Eric Freedman said. "But, again, if they don't that's just ordinary ruling of statues. It is not some huge constitutional pronouncement of about the powers of the president."