VICTORY: DACA Recipients Prevail at Supreme Court!

Mark Rosenbaum speaks to reporters after delivering oral arguments on behalf of DACA recipients at the Ninth Circuit in May 2018.

“The decision overturning the rescission of DACA is just what the nation needed. It means that 700,000 DACA recipients can live their lives in full, continuing to give to the only country they’ve ever known and doing their part to make the United States whole again. The historic decision by Chief Justice Roberts means that for now and forever the Executive Branch must be accountable for its decisions that would upend lives and livelihoods, that would destroy community bonds.”

–Mark Rosenbaum, directing attorney of Public Counsel’s Opportunity Under Law

June 18, 2020 – Over the past two and a half years, Public Counsel has been honored to represent six brave DACA recipients who fought the Trump Administration’s cruel and unjust decision to end DACA. Their suit, filed as Garcia v. United States, resulted in a nationwide injunction that blocked the Trump Administration from ending DACA for over two years. Today, they achieved their ultimate goal.

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court recognized the dignity and rights of DACA recipients, and delivered a victory not just for DACA recipients and their families, but for our communities and country as a whole. The court saw the Trump Administration’s paper-thin and politically-motivated reasoning for ending the DACA program for what it was, and in doing so reaffirmed that the rule of law stands always ready to protect and uphold the values on which this nation is based.

In 2017, when President Trump reneged on his commitment to maintain DACA, it was clear he intended to use the immigration status of DACA recipients – whom he had previously called “absolutely incredible kids” who “had nothing to worry about” – as bargaining chips to secure funds to build a border wall. Thanks to the courage of our clients, and the thousands of people who came forward to support them, President Trump’s cynical effort to exact a quid pro quo failed.

This decision comes in the midst of protests that demand an end to centuries of wanton violence towards Black people in this country. We see a connection between the systemic racism that infects our criminal justice system and so many police departments across this country, and the Trump Administration’s dehumanizing policies that tear families apart, and terrorize people who were brought to this country as children by adults simply seeking a better life. Underlying both these types of oppression is a strain of white supremacy that has haunted our country since its founding. In 2020, the need for truth, reconciliation and racial justice is greater than ever.

Public Counsel congratulates our incredible clients and the broader immigrant rights movement on this victory! We also recognize our tremendous co-counsel in this case: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher; Immigrant Advocacy and Litigation Center; Laurence Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School; Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of University of California, Berkeley Law School; and Leah Litman, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Michigan Law School.

Read the Court’s Ruling Here

Read Our Press Release with Statements from the Plaintiffs and Attorneys Here

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