Center for American Progress

RELEASE: City Leaders Call on Supreme Court To Keep DACA Protections
Press Release

RELEASE: City Leaders Call on Supreme Court To Keep DACA Protections

Washington, D.C. — Today, city representatives from New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Dodge City, Kansas, joined Tom Jawetz, vice president of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress; Cities for Action; and Atlanta-based DACA recipient Yehimi Cambrón to underscore what is at stake for cities and communities as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to review the lawfulness of the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.

After the call, Jawetz made the following statement:

Since the first efforts to end DACA surfaced in the opening months of the Trump administration, city leaders have been at the forefront of the fight to protect the program, standing with their residents and defending their communities. The administration’s attempt to end DACA is unwise, unkind, and unlawful, and the Supreme Court should stand with the lower courts and prevent the administration from moving ahead with this attack on immigrant communities and the rule of law.

“The Trump administration’s move to rescind the DACA program is unconscionable. The hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients who call our communities home make our economies and our nation stronger and safer,” said Bitta Mostofi, commissioner of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for the city of New York. “More than 100 jurisdictions from across the country have joined together through amicus to urge the Supreme Court to uphold federal rulings and prevent the harms that would befall our communities. DACA recipients and their families deserve the opportunity to live free from fear, achieve their full potential, and continue to contribute to our cities and to our country.”

Amy Eusebio, director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for the city of Philadelphia, said, “We firmly believe that immigrants are an essential part of our city’s fabric. We have been a leader in local responses to protect immigrants through policies and litigation that ensure public safety, trust in our local institutions, and basic human dignity. That is why we are standing up to reiterate that DACA recipients are Americans—they are our friends, family, and neighbors. Denying them the opportunity to contribute to their communities, to the country they have called home for as long as they can remember, is both cruel and reckless. Philadelphia is proud to stand with all of our immigrant residents.”

“Eliminating DACA is a direct attack against 800,000 Americans. There is nothing American or patriotic about revoking the dreams of young people who call this country home. As leaders within cities and communities, we are charged with protecting families, not tearing them apart. I encourage everyone to speak out and against the president’s attempt to end DACA,” said Michelle Maziar, director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs for the city of Atlanta.

At his turn, Ernestor De La Rosa, assistant city manager of Dodge City, Kansas, and a DACA recipient, said, “Between Dodge City, Garden City, and Liberal, Kansas, we produce 25 percent of the nation’s beef supply. Immigrants in southwest Kansas are vital to our survival and critical to our local economy. As a DACA recipient and immigrant living in rural Midwest America, I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will not take away my ability to continue contributing to this great country. DACA has given me the opportunity to build a career, help provide for my family, and proudly serve Dodge City residents.”

Atlanta-based artist and educator and DACA recipient Yehimi Cambrón said, “Being a DACA recipient has allowed me to live a life as close to normal as possible, even if it’s for two-year increments. DACA lifted the shadow of deportation and allowed me to work and drive legally. DACA provided a relief that has extended beyond myself to my family and my community, allowing me to teach, serve, and thrive in my city. I am going to Washington, D.C., on November 12 to ensure that students from school communities around the nation do not lose their teachers and to show the nation that we are present and that our collective voices are powerful.”

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on three consolidated DACA cases on November 12, 2019. A decision is expected no later than June 2020. CAP finds that DACA recipients and their families are making significant contributions to the national economy, contributing an estimated $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes each year. A decision to end DACA would directly affect an estimated 256,000 U.S.-born children who have a DACA-recipient parent.

To view additional resources developed by CAP’s Immigration Policy team, please click here.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Claudia Montecinos at [email protected] or 202-481-8145.