Attorneys general from across the country weighed in on the Supreme Court’s pending case to decide the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.
The 2012 Obama-era policy protected hundreds of thousands of people who were illegally brought into the United States as children from deportation as long as they passed a background check and applied for a work permit.
Of the roughly 700,000 DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, almost 200,000 of them live in California.
The brief, filed Friday in the Supreme Court, argues that the Trump administration unlawfully terminated the program back in September 2017.
The Supreme Court, which decided to take on the case in June, is set to hear oral arguments on the case in November. Experts expect a final decision to come summer 2020.
“Dreamers who have called America home for decades contribute significantly to our communities as teachers, first responders, entrepreneurs, and so much more,” California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra wrote in a statement. “Many of them know no other home than the United States. With our partners around the country, we’re standing up for the rule of law and the promise of the American dream.”
In filing the brief, which was also signed by the attorneys general of Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, Becerra argued that the Trump administration’s decision to abruptly terminate the program was unlawful and subject to judicial review.
The brief also notes DACA recipients’ economic contributions to underscore the consequence of terminating the program.
Specifically that Dreamers contribute nearly $9 billion in federal, state and local taxes each year, and that businesses would lose billions of dollars in turnover costs if their DACA-recipient employees are no longer able to legally live and work in the country.
The Trump administration initially announced that it was ending DACA in September 2017, claiming it was an illegal use of executive power by then-president Barack Obama.
That announcement prompted several lawsuits. Injunctions filed by three U.S. district courts, including one in California, allow people who were previously granted DACA the ability to renew their status.
After President Trump announced the end of DACA, he challenged lawmakers to pass comprehension immigration reform. However, Democrats and Republicans have not been able to agree on legislation.
Last year, a possible DACA deal fell through amid demands from the president for billions of tax dollars to pay for a border wall along the southwestern border. The president eventually secured those funds by diverting tax dollars away from military projects.
This summer, the Democrat-led congress passed a legislative package that would have provided a path to citizenship. But the legislation has stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate where conservative lawmakers view it as amnesty for people who broke the law.
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