Attorney general steers clear of DACA immigration lawsuit

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Mississippi’s top law enforcement officer is staying out of a legal battle over a recent controversial announcement from President Donald Trump.

Fifteen Democratic attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration on Sept. 6 over the announcement that he would eliminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program unless Congress intervenes.

The state AGs say the decision violates the due process rights of people participating in the program, which President Barack Obama implemented to allow immigrants whose parents brought them to the U.S. without authorization to remain in the country.

Speaking at a press conference in his office on Thursday, Attorney General Jim Hood, the only statewide elected Democrat, said his office did not have enough time or a large enough staff to review the suit before it was filed.

“Immigration’s really a federal issue and normally I don’t get involved unless it affects a Mississippi law,” Hood told reporters.

In 2012, Hood also declined to participate in lawsuit brought by immigration agents against the Obama Administration for ending the practice of deporting undocumented young people brought to the U.S. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant later joined that lawsuit on his own.

Federal immigration agencies indicate 3,114 Mississippians have been accepted into the DACA program through the second quarter of the 2017 fiscal year.

Hood said he also has not decided whether he would file a brief in support of this week’s DACA lawsuit.