LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced that Los Angeles is leading a national coalition of forty U.S. cities and counties along with the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors filing an amicus brief seeking to prevent the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Among those local governments joining Los Angeles in the coalition include New York, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. This litigation is of significant importance to the coalition because 49.9% of all currently active DACA recipients – more than 350,000 individuals – live in the metropolitan areas of the forty cities and counties.
Together, the coalition is 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 brief is here.
"We continue to fight to keep DACA alive and to seek clarity for the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers who depended on the program when they came out of the shadows," said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. "Today cities and counties across America stand united with the Dreamers, who personify the American values of education, hard work, and belief in a better tomorrow."
"Young people with DACA protection should have their minds focused on building the future they dream about — not fear of being torn from the people they love and the only home they know," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "We’re standing behind family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers who make extraordinary contributions to our communities and economy — and who simply want the stability and acceptance that everyone in America deserves."
"New York City is home to 30,000 DACA recipients, and we will fight in Washington and in the courts to keep our neighbors here," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Dreamers are our business owners, parents, and civic leaders. Last year, DACA recipients alone contributed nearly $2 billion to our city’s GDP. The Trump Administration’s cruel decision to terminate the program puts these hard-working New Yorkers in limbo. Without a clear pathway to resolution in Washington, Dreamers have looked to the courts to land on the side of justice and fairness."
"Chicago stands with Los Angeles and cities and counties across America in support of Dreamers and their rights to contribute to our communities free from fear and persecution," said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "We will continue to defend their legal rights in the courts, uphold our most fundamental American values, and stand up for the ability of all residents to live with dignity and enrich the fabric of our society."
The amicus brief states 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 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.
The complete list of entities signing the brief is:
National League of Cities
U.S. Conference of Mayors
County of Alameda, California
City of Atlanta, Georgia
City of Austin, Texas
City of Berkeley, California
City of Boston, Massachusetts
City of Cambridge, Massachusetts
City of Chelsea, Massachusetts
City of Chicago, Illinois
Cook County Illinois
City of Dallas, Texas
City and County of Denver, Colorado
District of Columbia
City of Gary, Indiana
City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii
City of Houston, Texas
City of Ithaca, New York
City of Iowa City, Iowa
King County, Washington
City of Las Cruces, New Mexico
City of Long Beach, California
City of Los Angeles, California
County of Los Angeles, California
City of Madison, Wisconsin
City of Minneapolis, Minnesota
County of Monterey, California
City of New Haven, Connecticut
City of New York, New York
City of Oakland, California
City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
City of Portland, Oregon
City of Providence, Rhode Island
City of Rochester, New York
City of Sacramento, California
City and County of San Francisco
City of Santa Fe, New Mexico
City of Santa Monica, California
City of Seattle, Washington
City of Somerville, Massachusetts
City of Tucson, Arizona
City of West Hollywood, California