Washington, DC, October 7, 2019 … A coalition of civil rights and social justice organizations led by the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, filed an amicus brief before the Supreme Court urging that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is unlawful.
Since its inception in 2012, the DACA program has served as a lifeline for approximately 800,000 young immigrants, widely known as “Dreamers”, who came to the United States as children and obtained temporary legal status, allowing them to study, work and live their lives free of fear of deportation. They have made economic, cultural, and social contributions in their places of work, their communities and this nation’s military.
“We are gravely concerned that current enrollees in the program and DACA-eligible immigrants, many of whom are overwhelmingly of color, will be deprived of economic opportunities and will face increased poverty rates if the Supreme Court rules that DHS’s rescission was lawful,” said Dariely Rodriguez, Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s Economic Justice Project. “The repeated attempts by this administration to shatter DACA into a million pieces is an afront to families, communities, our nation’s military and our economy. We will continue to stand with the Dreamers and their families against blatant discriminatory policies.”
The brief cites economic factors at stake if the Court decides in favor of DHS’s rescission, including a survey of DACA recipients conducted by the Center for American Progress that found that nearly a quarter of surveyed respondents over the age of 25 purchased a home after their DACA application was approved, accounting for an estimated $380 million a year in property taxes to their communities. Additionally, research has shown that the program has increased wages and employment of DACA recipients, and reduced the number of immigrant households living in poverty.
“Protecting DACA recipients, who have built lives in this country, is a moral imperative for our nation. The administration’s decision to rescind the program without consideration of the interests of these 800,000 young immigrants is not only unnecessary, arbitrary and capricious, but also mean-spirited and heartless,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of ADL. “We are pleased to join with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and our other coalition partners in urging the Supreme Court to find that the revocation of the program was unlawful and should not stand.”
This brief marks the seventh amicus brief filed by the Lawyers’ Committee in support of DACA enrollees and comes after the Supreme Court’s consolidation of three lawsuits, which the organization filed briefs for each, challenging the termination of DACA: NAACP v. Trump, Regents of University of California v. United States Department of Homeland Security, and McAleenan v. Vidal.
“The data is clear: DACA has been a resounding success, offering talented and driven youth a renewed sense of hope and opportunity,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “But this cruel administration has proven it will go to any length to block their potential. The cost of this political maneuvering is too great. Keeping Dreamers from contributing fully to our society is not only wrong and unnecessary, it limits the potential socioeconomic clout of our nation. We are proud to join our partners on this brief and stand alongside undocumented youth who have given their everything to make this country a better place. We urge the Supreme Court to support the rulings of several federal courts and block all efforts to rescind DACA.”
In all three consolidated cases before the Court, district courts either enjoined or vacated DHS’s rescission of DACA and the brief filed by the three civil rights organizations focuses on the necessity of issuing a preliminary injunction. For the last two years, the law firm of Venable LLP and the LCCRUL have been co-counseling on this issue. Together, they have filed seven amicus briefs opposing the termination of DACA.
A link to the brief can be found here.