SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy. In November of 2019, the California Department of Justice led a coalition of 21 attorneys general in defense of DACA before the Supreme Court. In today’s decision, the Supreme Court held that the Trump Administration acted illegally when it attempted to end DACA. As a result, the policy remains in effect for now, protecting hundreds of thousands of Dreamers across the country.
“Today, justice prevailed for every Dreamer who has worked hard to help build our country — our neighbors, teachers, doctors, and first responders. Today, America told the Dreamers that this is their home,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The highest court in our land saw through the Trump Administration’s illegal, baseless excuses. The Court agreed: If you work hard and play by the rules, you deserve a chance to get ahead. However, our fight doesn’t end here: Congress can permanently fix our broken immigration system and secure a pathway to citizenship. As a former lawmaker who launched bipartisan immigration talks on Capitol Hill, I know first-hand that bipartisan support can — and must — exist. It will take all of us working together to get it done.”
“Justice and the rule of law won the day,” said University of California President Janet Napolitano, who helped create DACA when she served as Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama. “The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the University of California and the California Attorney General’s challenge against the Trump Administration’s capricious action is a victory for hundreds of thousands of young people who are making vital contributions to their families, schools, employers, and the nation.”
Currently, there are nearly 650,000 Dreamers who arrived in this country as children and were granted DACA protections. Dreamers come from almost every country in the world, but many have never known any home other than the United States. They are among our nation’s newest college graduates, soldiers, nurses, teachers, and first responders who are boosting the country’s economy and communities every day. For instance, there are approximately 29,000 doctors, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, and other healthcare workers who have benefitted from DACA and contribute to protecting the health of our communities across the country. In California alone, it is estimated that there are more than 8,500 DACA recipients who work in the healthcare industry. DACA recipients and their households are estimated to contribute nearly $9 billion in federal, state, and local taxes each year. Currently, more than a quarter of DACA recipients reside in California.
For those looking to stand with Dreamers and push for a permanent fix, information on contacting your elected representatives is available here.
For those who are interested in learning more about their immigration options, the California Department of Social Services funds qualified non-profit organizations to provide free legal services to immigrants who reside in the State of California. Those services include assistance for individuals seeking DACA protections, naturalization, other immigration remedies, and removal defense. A list of providers across the state is available here. Additional information on immigration services is available on the California Department of Social Services website here: https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/immigration.
Attorney General Becerra has worked every step of the way to fight for DACA and Dreamers living across the country. The Trump Administration first announced its decision to rescind DACA in September of 2017. Just days later, Attorney General Becerra led a multistate lawsuit challenging the decision and, together with other partners, secured a nationwide injunction blocking the Trump Administration’s plan in January of 2018. As a result, there have been more than 712,000 DACA renewals over the course of this historic fight. More information on California’s efforts to defend DACA is available here: https://oag.ca.gov/daca.
A copy of the Supreme Court decision is available here.