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Press Releases

Attorney General William Tong

09/30/2019

ATTORNEY GENERAL TONG SUPPORTS DACA HOLDERS IN SCOTUS BRIEF

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Lawsuit to be Heard by Supreme Court this Fall

(Hartford, CT) -- Attorney General William Tong joined a coalition of 16 attorneys general led by New York Attorney General Letitia James in filing a brief in the United States Supreme Court in the coalition’s ongoing lawsuit to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The lawsuit, originally filed in September 2017, will be heard by the Supreme Court this fall. The suit argues that the Trump Administration’s attempt to revoke DACA was based on a faulty legal analysis and harmed State residents, institutions, and economies.

"The Trump Administration's attack on DACA has been flawed since day one. It was rooted in bad law and bungled procedure and we are doing everything we can to prove that case before the United States Supreme Court. But more important than law and process is the human toll—the devastating limbo that thousands of young people in Connecticut have been living in. DACA is about hope. It is about giving young people a chance to live their lives out of the shadows—a chance to dream. I am working closely with attorneys general from across the country to protect these young adults—some of whom were brought here as infants and toddlers-- and to give them the stability they need to thrive," said Attorney General Tong.

In September 2017, the coalition filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District (EDNY) challenging the Trump Administration’s decision to terminate DACA. In February 2018, the EDNY issued a nationwide preliminary injunction that halted DACA’s termination. The United States Supreme Court will hear the case, together with parallel challenges to DACA’s termination filed in federal courts in California and the District of Columbia.

Since 2012, DACA has allowed approximately 800,000 young people who came to this country as children and lack legal status to live, study, and work in the U.S. without fear of arrest or deportation. The Migration Policy Institute estimates there are nearly 4,000 DACA recipients in Connecticut, with approximately 7,000 more who could be eligible for the program who have not applied.

Camila Bortolleto, DACA recipient, Campaign and Organizing Manager for Connecticut Students for a Dream said: "There are thousands of immigrants in Connecticut who have been able to benefit from DACA. We have built lives, families, careers in Connecticut, our home is here. This administration may be doing everything in their power to silence people like us, but we won’t stand down or given in. We will fight for our right to remain here.

Our home is here. It’s what we know and where we belong. The consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision are enormous: Will they uphold what three court rulings said and put a brake on Trump’s anti-immigrant, racist and hateful agenda? Or will they add immigrant youth with DACA to the list of people this president is targeting for family separation?”

Three courts have already ruled that Trump violated the law when he tried to terminate DACA. DACA is legal, constitutional, and successful. But that is not what this case is about. If the Supreme Court overrules what everyone else has already decided, this country has a lot more to worry about than just DACA. It would be a sign that we are losing our democracy and the Supreme Court justices would be giving the greenlight to a new wave of family separation in the country.

He is trying to take away protections for immigrant youth and expand his deportation force. We must rise up against hate and racism and rescue our democracy and our homes from undemocratic power grabs and family separation. We need to protect immigrant youth, our families, and our community."

Joining Attorney General Tong and New York Attorney General Letitia James in filing this brief and the lawsuit are the attorneys general of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the Governor of Colorado.

Twitter: @AGWilliamTong
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Elizabeth Benton
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