ALBANY - New York leaders are vowing to sue President Donald Trump over his move Tuesday toward ending protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as minors.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said they will file a lawsuit seeking to block the Trump administration's rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which President Barack Obama launched in 2012.
DACA allows renewable, two-year protections from deportation for certain immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children.
The immigrants in the program are eligible for work permits.
In a statement, Cuomo -- a Democrat -- called Trump's action an "assault on the values that built this state and this nation."
"If he moves forward with this cruel action, New York state will sue to protect the 'dreamers' and the state's sovereign interest in the fair and equal application of the law," Cuomo said before Trump issued his order.
The White House announced Tuesday afternoon that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security, making the case that DACA is unconstitutional.
Under Trump's plan, most of those currently in the DACA system won't be affected until March 5 at the earliest, according to the White House. That could give Congress time to come up with a replacement program.
"Our first and highest priority in advancing immigration reform must be to improve jobs, wages and security for American workers and their families," Trump said in a statement.
Cuomo and Schneiderman's statements did not elaborate on the substance of their vowed legal action, other than to suggest state's rights and the constitutional principle of equal protection may be at play.
More than 40,000 immigrants in New York are protected under DACA, according to Schneiderman.
"They pay more than $140 million in state and local taxes," Schneiderman said. "They are vital members of our community."