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Attorney General Becerra helps secure victory for Dreamers as court blocks implementation of Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA until a final decision is reached in the litigation

By Miriam Raftery

January 10, 2018 (Sacramento) – A California court has issued a nationwide injunction to temporarily protect Dreamers, or young people brought here as children of undocumented immigrants, or young people brought here as children of undocumented immigrants, before a Trump administration order forces them to be deported. Trump rolled back DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order issued by Barack Obama.

Congress is grappling with legislation that could permanently protect the Dreamers. But  the clock is ticking. President Trump has indicated he is open to a bill to protect the Dreamers, but only if it also includes funding for a border wall.  While Democrats and some Republicans support protection for dreamers, hard liners in the Republican Party oppose it and its unclear whether Democrats would back billions to build a border wall.

Now, the District Court in Northern California has issued a preliminary, nationwide injunction to block Trump’s rollback of DACA while a lawsuit works its way through the courts.  The case was filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the University of California, joined by the Attorneys General for Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, as well as individual Dreamers and other plaintiffs.

The Court determined that the merits of California’s case are strong, that there would be immediate harm if the Administration’s plan to terminate DACA were to proceed, and that the public interest is served by prohibiting the Administration from ending DACA before the legal issues are ruled on.

Attorney General Becerra states, “Dreamers’ lives were thrown into chaos when the Trump Administration tried to terminate the DACA program without obeying the law.”  He called the ruling “a huge step in the right direction, adding, “America is and has been home to Dreamers who courageously came forward, applied for DACA and did everything the federal government asked of them. They followed DACA’s rules, they succeeded in school, at work and in business, and they have contributed in building a better America. We will fight at every turn for their rights and opportunities so they may continue to contribute to America.”

In a motion filed last November seeking this injunction, Attorney General Becerra argued that the federal government violated the U.S. Constitution and federal laws designed to ensure that our government treats everyone fairly and transparently.  California and the other plaintiffs in this action have emphasized that terminating the program is causing irreparable harm to DACA recipients as well as to the States and communities in which they live.

Earlier, in July, Becerra led 20 attorneys general in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to maintain and defend DACA. In the letter, the attorneys general explained how DACA has benefited their states and the nation as a whole and called on Trump to fulfill his public commitment to Dreamers, whom he previously called “incredible kids” who should be treated “with heart.” Roughly a quarter of all DACA grantees, more than 200,000 young people, live in California.  All 20 of the signatories to this letter have since joined lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s rescission of DACA.