The National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a group of 40 cities and counties from all over the country, have filed an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit to uphold a decision blocking the federal government’s plans to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, placing the future of more than 700,000 immigrants in jeopardy.
Mayors and county officials from Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago among others have requested the appellate court to uphold an existing nationwide injunction that is effectively preventing the Trump administration’s order to dismantle DACA.
DACA is an Obama-era executive order offering temporary protected status to undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors. Under this immigration program, DREAMers (named after the DREAM Act, a failed bill with the same provisions as DACA) are permitted to apply for two-year-renewable work permits, allowing them to legally work in the country and seek a driver’s license among other things. Benefits are extended to DREAMers who arrived in the United States before the age of 16 and can provide proof of having continuously lived in the country since June 2017.
But in September last year, President Trump announced he would be terminating DACA on the basis that Obama had overstepped his executive authority in creating the program. He gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative replacement to the program—a plan that never came to fruition.
Last month, the Supreme Court denied the Justice Department’s request to hear an emergency appeal to circumvent a federal judge’s ruling that the administration’s reason for terminating DACA was hinged on a “flawed legal premise.” The White House asked the high court to circumvent the Ninth Circuit’s review of a challenge to DACA’s termination, which was declined.
For now, the fate of hundreds of thousands of DREAMers rests on the shaky preliminary injunctions issued by federal judges from San Francisco and Brooklyn. This is where the coalition of cities and counties comes in, filing a 42-page amicus brief where they make the case against ending DACA, which they believe would have disastrous effects across multiple communities all over the country.
As New York Mayor Bill de Blasio notes, “Dreamers are our business owners, parents, and civic leaders. Last year, DACA recipients alone contributed nearly $2 billion to our city’s GDP. The Trump Administration’s cruel decision to terminate the program puts these hard-working New Yorkers in limbo. Without a clear pathway to resolution in Washington, Dreamers have looked to the courts to land on the side of justice and fairness.”
If you, or a loved one, are under DACA status and want to discuss your legal options in light of these recent events, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with the legal team of the Lyttle Law Firm. Contact our offices to schedule a consultation with Austin immigration attorney DaniellaLyttle.