He’ll see you in court
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced on Aug. 28 a new step in his ongoing fight to protect undocumented young people who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program, which the Trump administration has attempted to end.
In late July, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf — whose appointment is of questionable legality — stated that he wanted to curtail the DACA program by halting new applications, cutting down the renewal period from two years to one and preventing all international travel by DACA recipients without prior approval of the federal Department of State.
Ferguson, along with 16 other attorneys general, now alleges that the “Wolf memo” is in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, the same law under which the Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s previous attempt to end the DACA program.
The Administrative Procedures Act, passed in 1946, ensures that federal agencies will publish their proposed actions in the Federal Register and allow the public roughly a month to comment. Then, the agencies must respond to concerns raised and give a reasoning, lest their actions be deemed “arbitrary and capricious.”
The Supreme Court found that the Trump administration’s prior efforts to end DACA were arbitrary and capricious, a decision that saved the program temporarily but also opened the door to future attempts to end the program with more reasoning.
In this motion, Ferguson and other attorneys general are saying that curtailing the program as Wolf has attempted to do would also violate this legal principle.
Ferguson has some practice suing the Trump administration. He has filed dozens of lawsuits for Washington state since President Donald Trump took office in 2017.
Washington state has created a new program funded by the federal government to help households who are behind on their rent and could face eviction when the statewide moratorium on evictions ends.
The Eviction Rent Assistance program will be administered by counties and use money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized by U.S. Congress in March to help people whose income has dropped as a result of the coronavirus make rent.
The program will end Dec. 31, 2020.
Gov. Jay Inslee, the city of Seattle and King County have all passed moratoriums on evictions. That means landlords cannot evict their tenants for nonpayment of rent.
According to King County, tens of thousands of residents could be facing eviction when the moratorium lifts because while landlords can’t evict tenants now, their rental payments continue to accrue.
More than $41 million is available to help local residents.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC.
Read more in the Sept. 2-8, 2020 issue.