Photo Courtesy of Sen. Peralta’s Office
According to the amicus brief, DACA “delivers economic benefits for communities across the country, contributes to the public’s safety and general welfare, and reflects this country’s values as a proud nation of immigrants.”
By Michael V. Cusenza
The City recently signed on to an amicus brief, alongside 25 other jurisdictions and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, urging the United States District Court of the Northern District of California to permanently enjoin the federal government from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, as well as from using information from the DACA program in removal proceedings of individuals.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DACA is a policy developed during the Obama administration that allows certain people who came to the U.S. as children, and meet several guidelines, to request consideration of deferred action from deportation for two years, subject to renewal. They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer deportation for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status, USCIS noted.
According to the City, approximately 800,000 DACA recipients have benefitted from DACA, which, the brief notes, “delivers economic benefits for communities across the country, contributes to the public’s safety and general welfare, and reflects this country’s values as a proud nation of immigrants.”
The brief’s central argument is that the federal government unlawfully terminated DACA in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. According to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, the brief states that local jurisdictions would suffer direct economic harm if DACA is rescinded due to the removal of hundreds of thousands of workers, business owners and taxpayers from their respective economies. Additionally, ending DACA will make communities less safe and would lead to DACA-recipients being much less likely to report criminal activity to law enforcement out of fear of deportation.
“New York City stands with 800,000 Dreamers calling on the courts to recognize that the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA is contrary to our values and our local economies, as well as unlawful,” said Bitta Mostofi, acting commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “DACA has kept families together and has lifted workers’ wages. While Congress must act to pass the DREAM Act to grant Dreamers a pathway to citizenship, the courts must stop the Trump administration from feeding its deportation machine by abusing the trust that hundreds of thousands of young people put in their government.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio added, “In our city, DREAMers are our friends, neighbors, and valued members of our communities. Their contributions strengthen the economy and help us live up to our highest values. We are joining with jurisdictions across the nation to stand up for these young people, so they can stay in the only homes they have ever known.”