LA County to Support Litigation Efforts to Protect DACA Dreamers

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In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s recently released memorandum attacking the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, the Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to join in litigation, or to file an amicus brief supporting California’s lawsuit, challenging the federal government’s actions to rescind DACA. As a way to help protect the thousands of undocumented families that are without legal protection, the Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, seeks to urge other attorney generals to send letters encouraging the President to maintain the DACA initiative. This motion will direct LA County to support these efforts.

Established by President Obama in 2012, DACA allows more than 700,000 immigrants to live and work in the United States legally even if they are undocumented. The program enables non-U.S. citizens who came to the U.S. as children and who meet several key guidelines, to remain in the country for two years. Recipients of the program are eligible for work authorization and other benefits and are shielded from possible deportation. Youth impacted by DACA are often referred to as “Dreamers.”

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, the Trump Administration has indicated that it will once again attempt to revoke the initiative. In the memorandum issued on July 28, 2020, calls for a rejection of all initial requests for DACA program recipients and all pending and future applications for advance parole absent exceptional circumstances, and to shorten DACA program renewals to one-year periods. 

On June 15, 2012, the Obama Administration initiated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, providing temporary forbearance of removal and work authorization eligibility for undocumented immigrants who entered the United States (U.S.) as children. Since its inception, the DACA program has protected nearly 800,000 individuals, including tens of thousands of immigrants in Los Angeles County (County), from deportation. Donald Trump first attempted to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in September 2017, a move that would have stripped its beneficiaries of work permits and subjected them to deportation. Recognizing the countless contributions that DACA program recipients have made to their communities, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that the Trump Administration’s attempted rescission of the DACA program was unlawful.

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