TRENTON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey will join a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's decision to end a program that protected those who immigrated to the U.S. as children.
Murphy, a Democrat, said at a news conference Wednesday New Jersey would join 15 other states and the District of Columbia in the suit.
He announced the decision alongside New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Parthiv Patel, who took an oath to become an attorney in New Jersey.
Murphy says Patel is the first beneficiary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative to be admitted to the New Jersey bar. They are commonly called dreamers, based on a never-passed proposal called the DREAM Act.
"This ceremony comes at a time of increasing uncertainty and chaos for our Dreamers," Murphy said. "But Dreamers like Parthiv are just as American as anyone in this state and they should not feel like the federal government is working against them. Dreamers have infinite potential and it would be an enormous injustice to push them out of the only country they have ever known."
Patel came to New Jersey from India when he was five years old and studied law at Drexel University. "Today I stand here with one message: Dreamers are Americans," he said.
Patel said it is a dream to practice law and live with his wife in the United States. "Just keep doing what Dreamers do best, just persevere," said Patel. "Just keep studying. Just keep working, and most importantly, just keep dreaming."
"We just hope this is one step in a long journey and there are lots of different elements to that," said Murphy. "There's no one magic wand, particularly with a hostile administration and frankly an uncooperative Congress."
Trump, a Republican, ordered an end to DACA in September.
New Jersey has 22,000 so-called dreamers. Officials say they will open an office of immigrant protection and defense.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
Gov. Murphy: New Jersey to challenge Trump order on DACA