BUFFALO, NY — Some believe that if we have become a litigious society, then New York’s Attorney General has become a poster child of same.
His recent lawsuit regarding DACA reflects the latest in a string of attempts by Eric Schneiderman to take court action in an effort to stop policy proposals by the administration of President Donald Trump from being implemented.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was established by the Obama administration which allows certain illegal immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
Recipients, sometimes referred to as “dreamers”, represent children and young adults who came to the country illegally, brought by parents who themselves flouted the law to get in.
Mr. Trump says that in six months, he will consider removing protections against their possible deportation-- enacted by the previous administration — unless Congress acts to codify those protections so that DACA recipients may stay permanently and legally.
Schneiderman, as he has often before, was quick to file a lawsuit.
“You are starting to even see Republican voices speaking up against some (Trump) policies like DACA, and the fact that we shouldn't be expelling all these kids," said Schneiderman, a Democrat, who has been a frequent critic of the Republican President.
"This is not anything to do with the President’s personality. This has to do with public policies that hurt New Yorkers. We are bringing our cases on the merits. There just happen to be a lot of merits with this particular administration,” Schneiderman told WGRZ-TV.
There also happen to have been a lot of cases.
In the months since Mr. Trump took office, Schneiderman has filed, or threatened to file, numerous lawsuits, on everything from attempts by Trump to tighten immigration laws, change health care, environmental regulations, and more.
“I’m not gonna back down from defending New Yorkers,” said Schneiderman.
"Every one of the cases involves a matter of sound public policy being undone by what seems to be by a fairly reckless administration," Schneiderman said. “So I don't view this as being at all political. I view this as my effort to protect the people of the state of New York.”
When asked how much the lawsuits he’s filed have cost taxpayers, Schneiderman replied, “A lot less than it will cost if people lose their health care or if the DACA recipients, who contribute $140 million a year in taxes to New York State are kicked out.”
Schneiderman came to Buffalo to warn about a new danger in Western New York tied to the opioid crisis, involving fake oxycodone pills, which are actually laced with Fentanyl and which he says pose a grave risk of death to users.