Attorney General Madigan Joins Coalition Filing Amicus Brief to Protect Dreamers and Preserve DACA

DACA protests
Advocates for a permanent fix to the terminated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are frustrated by attempts to use Dreamers as “bargaining chips” to pass provisions targetting other immigrant groups. (Photo: Annette Bernhardt/Flickr/cc)

20 Attorneys General File Amicus Brief in Texas v. U.S. Following Lawsuits to Protect DACA, in which AGs Secured Preliminary Injunctions Blocking DACA Rescission

Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—July 24, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser

A coalition of 20 Attorneys General filed an amicus brief seeking to protect Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grantees. The brief was filed in Texas v. United States, a case being heard in the District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in which certain states are challenging the lawfulness of the DACA program.

Attorney General Madigan said, “Dreamers are students, workers and taxpayers, and they are vital to economic growth in Illinois. Eliminating DACA would succeed only in depriving our communities, educational institutions and workplaces, as well as our local economies, of the important contributions that Dreamers make every day. I remain committed to opposing any efforts to undermine DACA.”

Illinois is home to nearly 37,000 DACA grantees of the approximately 800,000 DACA recipients across the country. According to the Center for American Progress, 97 percent of DACA grantees are employed or go to school. They pay $54.7 million annually in state and local taxes in Illinois, as the Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy has detailed.

The coalition’s brief argues that the requested preliminary injunction should not be granted because it would conflict with the two existing preliminary injunctions issued by courts in the Northern District of California and the Eastern District of New York.

The Attorneys General’s brief argues that rescinding DACA wouldn’t just devastate the lives of the grantees who rely on the program, but it would also harm communities, employers and educational institutions that depend on the contributions of the DACA grantees. This includes state employers and state institutions – as two district courts have already concluded, noting that the states would suffer “staggering” and “irreversible” economic and social harms.

The loss of work authorization by DACA grantees would deprive the states of highly-qualified employees, including faculty at state universities, nurses, information technology specialists and public safety officers. State-run educational institutions would lose students and revenue, hindering their ability to promote critical programming. Additionally, state and local governments would lose out on the hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local taxes that DACA grantees pay each year. According to the Center for American Progress and the Immigrant Legal Resources Center, without DACA, the Gross Domestic Product would be $460.3 billion less over the next decade, while Social Security and Medicaid tax receipts would drop $24.6 billion.

In part, the brief states:

“As two district courts have now found, ending DACA would injure the amici States as employers, providers of health services, and proprietors of public universities. It would also cause the amici States to lose many millions of dollars in tax revenue.”

“In contrast, the harms asserted by the plaintiff States are either illusory or result from factors other than DACA, such as the mere presence of undocumented immigrants or the ancillary consequences of deferred action under decades-old federal regulations and policies. Indeed, the federal government began DACA in 2012, yet plaintiffs waited until 2018 to file this suit—a delay of nearly six years that undermines any claim of immediate, irreparable injury warranting a preliminary injunction. The nationwide injunction that plaintiffs seek is inappropriate for other reasons too: for example, that injunction would directly conflict with preliminary injunctions that two separate district courts have issued in favor of the amici States after rejecting DHS’s claims that DACA is unlawful.”

Joining Madigan in filing the brief are the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont and Washington.

Source: www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov