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Mayor threatens to sue if Trump deports young Caribbean ‘Dreamers’

Published:Tuesday | September 5, 2017 | 1:12 PM


New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is threatening to take legal action if the Trump administration follows through with reports that it would end the programme under which illegal Caribbean nationals, living here and known as 'Dreamers', are deported.

"Two hundred miles away in Washington, DC, something horrible is going to happen. I can't believe we're going to await an announcement about who's going to take away the right of our young people," de Blasio said as he addressed the pre-Caribbean Carnival Parade Breakfast on Monday.

"It does not matter if they were born in another country," he added, flanked by his wife, Chirlane McCray, who traces her roots to Barbados and St Lucia.

"They're waiting for an announcement that'll dash their hopes and dreams - many of those are from the Caribbean. We're not taking this lying down. We're going to the courts and fight for the rights of 'Dreamers'. We'll fight in Congress. So, when you march, remember Caribbean immigrants, the 'Dreamers.'"

Late last week, top US executives at a number of companies, business groups and academic institutions collaborated in voicing support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a five-year-old programme, instituted by former US President Barack Obama, which offers a reprieve from deportation to nearly 800,000 people, including Caribbean nationals, brought to the US as children, known as 'Dreamers'.

In an open letter, more than 350 executives and other organisation leaders urged Trump and congressional leaders to preserve the programme.

"Dreamers are vital to the future of our companies and our economy. They are part of why we will continue to have a global competitive advantage," they said in the letter.

The business executives said that denying Dreamers work authorisation could result in the loss of US$460.3 billion from the US economy and US$24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions.

The White House has also faced pressure to end DACA from critics of the programme who complain that it wasn't authorised by the US Congress and is an overreach of executive authority.

President Trump was expected to announce yesterday his decision regarding the programme.

Congressional Republicans expect the administration to unveil some version of this stopgap solution on Tuesday.