WASHINGTON, D.C. – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued a statement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy following oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court. The California Department of Justice is leading a coalition of 21 attorneys general in defense of the policy. Ending DACA would put the lives of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers and their families at risk, including the nearly 200,000 DACA recipients living in California alone.
“Today, we stood up for American values, the rule of law, and America’s Dreamers,” said Attorney General Becerra. “You learn from a very early age that there is a right way and there is a wrong way to do things. The federal government tried to terminate DACA the wrong way. Today, we stand here very proud of the arguments that were made on behalf of the 700,000 DACA recipients. We’re here to stand up for the right way to do things. Together, we’re here to say DACA is legal and an American success story.”
Since 2012, more than 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to this country as children have been granted DACA protections after completing applications and submitting to and passing a background check. Dreamers come from almost every country in the world, but many have never known any home other than the United States. Dreamers are among our newest college graduates, soldiers, nurses, teachers, and first responders who are boosting the economies and communities of our country every day. DACA recipients and their households are estimated to contribute nearly $9 billion in federal, state, and local taxes each year. Currently, there are nearly 700,000 active DACA recipients, more than a quarter of whom reside in California.
Attorney General Becerra has been a stalwart defender of DACA and has worked at every step to protect the rights of Dreamers living in the United States. Last week, Attorney General Becerra and individual Dreamers held a powerful press conference in defense of DACA ahead of oral arguments in the Supreme Court. In September, Attorney General Becerra led a coalition of states in filing a response to the federal government’s opening brief in the consolidated DACA cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. In October, the Attorney General announced that more than half a million Dreamers have been able to renew their DACA protections as a result of a preliminary injunction obtained by California and others. Last year, Attorney General Becerra led a multistate coalition in supporting a lawsuit to protect Dreamers from unlawful termination of their individual protections. In 2017, following the Trump Administration’s decision to illegally rescind DACA, Attorney General Becerra led a multistate lawsuit in defense of the policy.
California today fought in court on behalf of the attorneys general of New York, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
More information on the collective efforts to defend DACA is available here: https://oag.ca.gov/daca.