Attorney General Tong Joins Amicus Brief in Support of Dreamers
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general, led by California and New York, in an amicus brief in support of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in Texas v. United States.
In the amicus brief filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the coalition highlights the critical contributions of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients to public health efforts, the economy, and communities across the country — and pushes back on the Texas-led efforts to end DACA. Since 2012, DACA has provided access to work authorization and protected from removal approximately 825,000 individuals, including over 3,300 in Connecticut, who grew up in this country, most of whom have known no home other than the United States.
“Thousands of young people in Connecticut have been left in a cruel and devastating limbo because of these vicious and unlawful attacks against DACA,” Attorney General Tong said. “DACA has allowed thousands of people across America to graduate from college, start families and pursue their professional dreams, including tens of thousands of healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. DACA is about hope and giving young people, many of whom were brought to the United States as infants, the chance to thrive and live their lives out of the shadows. I am working closely with my fellow attorneys general to protect DACA and all of the young people whose lives depend on it for stability.”
DACA also plays a vital role in supporting our economies at the national, state, and local level. For instance, DACA recipients and their households pay an estimated $9.5 billion in federal, state, and local taxes each year. Allowing new initial DACA requests would lead to an estimated increase of $2.5 billion in state and local tax revenue over the next 20 years. In addition, DACA recipients’ estimated spending power — $25.3 billion — is important to the overall economic health of the amici states. Without DACA, national economic growth over the course of a decade is projected to fall by $280 billion. Such a scenario would also lead to an estimated loss of $33.1 billion in Social Security contributions and $7.7 billion in Medicare contributions: funds that are critical to ensuring the financial health of national programs upon which Americans across the country rely.
In the amicus brief, the coalition asserts, among other things:
- DACA grantees are vital to communities, economies, and public universities;
- DACA increases public safety and decreases the strain on safety net programs;
- Abrupt termination of DACA would cause substantial disruption and harm, including to amici states;
- Any remedy in this case must account for the significant reliance interests at stake;
- Amici states have structured programs, policies, and laws in reliance on DACA and the benefits it confers; and
- The appellate court should reverse the district court’s order, which enjoined DACA and erroneously concluded that DACA is unlawful.
In filing the amicus brief, Attorney General Tong joins the attorneys general of California, New York, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.
A copy of the amicus brief is available here.