In June 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which covers over 700,000 undocumented residents. DACA allows recipients to work and be free from deportation for two-year periods on a renewable basis. The League filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court with 45 other civil rights organizations opposing the Administration’s decision.
In June 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it would rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA recipients are undocumented residents who came to the United States before their 16th birthday, have continually resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, are in school, graduated high school or received a GED, or were honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or Coast Guard, and have no convictions for felonies or significant misdemeanors, among other requirements.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California enjoined the Administration’s decision, citing the government’s failure to obey the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The APA allows courts to enjoin agency acts that are “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law.” When changing policies, an agency must provide a reasoned explanation and consider the reliance interests stemming from the policy being changed. Several lower courts found the Administration had not considered the reliance interests of DACA recipients before rescinding the policy.
The Trump Administration appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. The League, together with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and over 40 other organizations, filed an amicus brief with the Court, arguing that the Trump Administration failed to consider the reliance interest of approximately 700,000 DACA recipients. Among these interests were the purchases of homes by recipients, loans advanced in reliance upon DACA, recipients being teachers, and expedited citizenship for DACA recipients serving in the Armed Forces. In doing so, the League and our partners argued that the Administration’s actions were arbitrary and capricious, and that DACA should remain in effect.
The Court held that the Administration’s decision to end DACA was (1) reviewable by the Court, and (2) “arbitrary and capricious,” under the Administrative Procedures Act, in violation of federal law. Therefore, the Court's ruling allowed DACA to remain in effect.
District Court issues preliminary injunction
The US District Court in California issues a preliminary injunction stopping the Department of Homeland Security from ending DACA, ordering current recipients to renew their status. However, the Department was not required to accept new applications.
Ninth Circuit affirms District Court’s injunction
LWV files amicus brief
The League files an amicus brief with 45 other civil rights organizations supporting the plaintiffs and continued existence of DACA.