Press Release

AALDEF hails Supreme Court DACA decision as a victory for immigrant youth

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The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) joined civil rights and pro-immigrant advocacy groups in applauding today’s U.S. Supreme Court 5-4 decision in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California that ruled in favor of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth. By rejecting the Trump administration’s bid to end the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the Court allowed immigrant youth to continue living and working lawfully in the United States under DACA. The Court found that the administration failed to consider the reliance interests of, and the hardships caused to, DACA recipients if the program were terminated. The ruling today would allow several nationwide injunctions that partially blocked the termination of DACA to remain in effect while challenges continue in the lower courts.

Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director, said: “This decision is a huge victory for young immigrants and their allies who mobilized support across the country to declare that home is here for DACA recipients and their families. We are gratified that the Court’s majority upheld lower court rulings that recognized the real-life adverse impacts that ending DACA would have on immigrant youth and their communities.”

Annie Wang, director of AALDEF’s Immigrant Justice Project, said: “In light of today’s decision, we are prepared to continue assisting individuals who have previously been granted DACA to submit their renewal requests. The government should immediately resume accepting initial DACA requests and applications for advance parole by DACA recipients. In addition, we stand with Asian and all immigrant communities to demand a long-term legislative solution for young immigrants and others who are undocumented.”

Since 2012, AALDEF has provided pro bono representation of primarily undocumented Asian youth. More than 120,000 young Asian immigrants are eligible for DACA. AALDEF joined other civil rights organizations in an amicus brief that focused on the reliance interests of DACA recipients.

RAISE (Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast), a pan Asian undocumented youth-led group affiliated with AALDEF, said of the decision: “Today, we celebrate. Going forward we will continue to fight the Trump administration’s racist and xenophobic policies in the same way millions have in recent weeks due to the tremendous efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement. Just like we fought for DACA, we will fight for and win policies that truly protect our communities.”

Individuals who believe they are eligible to renew their deferred action under DACA, or to request for DACA for the first time, but have not yet done so should consult with attorneys and nonprofit legal service providers if they have questions or need assistance submitting their DACA renewals. See the Home is Here coalition’s DACA renewal resource directory, including a list of legal service providers across the U.S.

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For more information, contact:
Annie J. Wang, Director, Immigrant Justice Project
212.966.5932 x213

Stan Mark, Senior Staff Attorney
212.966.5932 x204