The NYSYLC Joins LatinoJustice PRLDEF and Others to File Brief Supporting Lawsuits Seeking to Stop Administration’s DACA Rescission

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LatinoJustice PRLDEF and 18 Groups File Brief Supporting Lawsuits Seeking to Stop Administration’s DACA Rescission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2017

Contact: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or jgarcia@latinojustice.org

NEW YORK – LatinoJustice PRLDEF has joined with 18 other organizations to file an amicus brief in support of a motion seeking a preliminary injunction to enjoin the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects many young undocumented immigrants commonly referred to as DREAMers.

LatinoJustice, assisted by the law firm of Baker & Hostetler, LLP filed the amicus brief in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, in a proceeding consolidating five lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s controversial decision last month to phase out DACA.  

The motion, filed November 1, supports the request by The Regents of the University of California and Janet Napolitano in her official capacity as President of the University of California, California Attorney General and other plaintiffs for a preliminary injunction.

The amicus brief supports the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the Department of Homeland Security’s September 5, 2017 decision to rescind DACA on the basis that the decision was arbitrary and capricious and therefore unlawful under administrative procedure law.

“The President in targeting innocent young immigrants and connecting their future to his absurd requests for millions of dollars in federal funding to build a wall at our Southern Border,” said Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice. “The decision to rollback the program was made without any determination as to the effect on the lives of hundreds of thousands of dreamers and the privacy rights of these young men and women who entrusted the government with their personal information for the purpose of getting DACA relief.

Attorney General Sessions purported pretense that ending DACA is about fighting terrorism and making the country safe and secure is patently absurd for a population of DREAMers who have been fully vetted by the federal government and have assimilated into the country’s fabric.”

Relying on DHS’s representation that their personal information would not be used against them for removal purposes, DACA grantees provided to DHS an exhaustive list of personal information in their DACA applications. With the rescission of the DACA program, DACA grantees are now fearful that DHS will now use their personal information to deport them.

The motion seeking leave to file the amicus brief contends that the DACA memo issued by the administration will not only roll back protections for undocumented immigrants that LatinoJustice has historically championed, but is particularly flawed in that it does not offer adequate assurance that the information DACA grantees provided to DHS will not be used against them in removal proceedings.

The DACA program was enacted by President Obama’s administration on June 15, 2012.  It was rescinded by the current administration on September 5, 2017, and will sunset in six months on March 5, 2018.

DACA is an immigration policy that allows some minors, who had entered the country without documentation, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work authorization permit. As of 2017, over 800,000 individuals—referred to as Dreamers after the DREAM Act bill—were enrolled in the program created by DACA.

”The Department of Homeland Security made a promise to the Dreamers – provide us your personal information and we will give you DACA relief to come out and openly work, study and contribute to our community and we will not use that information to deport you,” said Fernando A. Bohorquez, Jr. BakerHostetler partner and LatinoJustice Board Member, “DHS has now cruelly reneged on that promise, materially changing its position to allow for Dreamers’ personal information to be used against them in immigration enforcement proceedings. That’s not fair and it’s not right. We wouldn’t allow a corporation to get away with that kind of behavior with respect to consumers personal information, and DHS shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it with respect to the Dreamers.“

“As an undocumented and unafraid immigrant led organization, we will not stand by and allow this administration, or any administration, to play with our lives" said the New York State Youth Leadership Council. “We will continue to fight for our rights. Now is the time to make our voices heard and push against the constant xenophobic and anti-immigrant attacks."

This brief was filed in the name of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Alianza Americas, the Arab American Institute, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, AAJC - Asian Law Caucus, AAJC – Los Angeles, ASPIRA, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CUNY DREAMers, Dream Action Coalition, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Hispanic Federation, Inc., Long Island Immigrants Students Advocates, The New York State Youth Leadership Council, Presente.org, RU Dreamers, and Unidos US.