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DACA Amicus 2018

Mayor Ken Miyagishima today announced that the City of Las Cruces has joined a national coalition of 40 U.S. cities and counties, along with the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, that filed an amicus brief seeking to prevent the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

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Other government agencies in the coalition are in Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia. “This litigation is of significant importance to the coalition because 51.4% of all currently active DACA recipients – more than 350,000 individuals – live in the metropolitan areas of the 40 cities and counties,” said Miyagishima.

These entities are urging the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to uphold an existing nationwide injunction against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that is currently preventing DHS from terminating the DACA program.

The amicus brief states in part, that local jurisdictions will suffer direct economic harm if DACA is rescinded due to the removal of hundreds of thousands of workers, business owners and taxpayers from their respective economies. The brief also states that 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.

This diverse multi-city and county coalition argues that in terminating DACA, DHS acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner, failing to comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Neither Attorney General Jeff Sessions nor DHS provided supportable rationale for their decision to terminate DACA. To the extent that they did cite reasons for ending the program, those reasons are disproven by clear evidence.

DACA was created by DHS in 2012 to allow undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. as children the opportunity ‘to come out of the shadows’ and live, study and work openly in our country. Since obtaining deferred action, DACA recipients have made substantial contributions as business owners, educators, researchers, artists, journalists and civic leaders.

For example, among those DACA recipients highlighted in the brief are a public school teacher in Austin, Texas with a master’s degree in education focusing on hearing-impaired students; a Los Angeles-based graphic designer who has worked on marketing campaigns for Star Wars: Rogue One and Game of Thrones; a political organizer based in Washington D.C., who recently served as a press secretary for a 2016 presidential candidate; a producer for MSNBC’s Morning Joe and, separately, a licensed attorney and the first member of the New York State Bar with DACA status, both of whom live in New York City.