Supreme Court Upholds the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Policy

Manatt is pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, which challenged the lawfulness of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, which was established in 2012 to provide protections and benefits for certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

The Court held that the rescission was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act because DHS failed to adequately engage with the range of issues involved in this type of decision, including the reliance interests of DACA recipients and their employers. This is a major victory in protecting about 700,000 young immigrants, known as “Dreamers,” from deportation to countries they do not know.

On October 4, 2019, a Manatt team led by Ronald Blum, and including professionals Harvey RochmanEsra HudsonJulian PolarisMichael Olsen and Mario Cardona, filed an amicus brief on behalf of Teach For America urging the Court to conclude, as did multiple lower courts, that DHS acted unlawfully in ending the DACA program. Teach For America was among the first organizations to actively recruit, train and support DACA-eligible individuals to teach in classrooms nationwide, and view DACA recipients as a key part of the organization’s mission to build a corps of teacher-leaders with diverse backgrounds, who can connect on a personal level with the lived experience of students and families.

The amicus brief noted the vital role that DACA plays in educational equity for students, schools and communities. “Without DACA, undocumented youth—including thousands of schoolchildren—lack a clear path to higher education, economic mobility, and high-quality jobs. They risk deportation to countries they do not know.” The brief also highlighted the commitment of Teach For America’s DACA educators who choose to serve their communities despite the full range of job opportunities available to them after gaining relief under DACA, noting that “[t]hese extraordinary young people choose to dedicate at least two years—the same period as their renewable DACA relief—to serve children and schools in low-income communities.”

Read the complete amicus brief here.

Read the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion here.

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