Mayors warn Trump on immigration policy

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel delivered a letter (PDF) to US president-elect Donald Trump Dec. 7 signed by several US mayors warning of the potential economic losses Trump could cause if he repeals Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA allows undocumented young immigrants to remain in the US if they arrived before they turned 16 and are currently working, pursuing higher education or serving in the military. The letter, which was signed by the mayors of New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco among others, warned that repealing DACA could result in a loss of $9.9 billion in tax revenue over four years and $433.4 billion in US gross domestic product over 10 years. Emanuel wrote:

Ensuring DREAMers can continue to live and work in their communities without fear of deportation is the foundation of sound, responsible immigration policy. Ending DACA would disrupt the lives of close to one million young people, and it would disrupt the sectors of the American economy, as well as our national security and public safety, to which they contribute. We encourage your Administration to demonstrate your commitment to the American economy and our security by continuing DACA until Congress modernizes our immigration system and provides a more permanent form of relief for these individuals.

US immigration law and immigrants' rights has been hotly contested in the aftermath of Obama's 2014 executive action instating DACA. In December 2014, 17 states filed suit against the president for his executive action, asserting that the order was an attempt to re-write law, a power designated solely for Congress. Later that month a district court ruked parts of the executive order unconstitutional based on a finding of a violation of separation of powers and the Take Care Clause of the constitution. Last week the US House of Representatives passed  a funding bill that contained amendments that would block the executive order, and remove funding from the president's DACA program.

From Jurist, Dec. 8. Used with permission.

Note: DACA was first instated—to Republican protest—in a June 2012 executive order, and expanded in November 2014 to include undocumented immigrants who entered the country before 2010. Trump has pledged to overturn the policy immediately upon taking office. The related Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), instated by executive order in November 2014, has been held up by the Supreme Court since June 2016. The justice split 4-4 in a case brought by Republicans challenging Obama's authority in the matter. (NYT, June 23, 2016)

  1. ICE detains man covered by DACA

    US immigration agents have detained a 23-year-old Mexican man who was brought to the United States without papers as a child and given a work permit during the Obama administration, according to a lawsuit challenging the detention in Seattle federal court. The man's lawyers say this could be the first time under  Trump that a person covered by Obama's DACA program has been taken into immigration custody. ICE says the man, Daniel Ramirez Medina, was detained "based on his admitted gang affiliation and risk to public safety.." His lawyers deny any such admission or affiliation. (Reuters)

    This is grim vindication for those who warned that DACA was luring young undocumented immigrants into a trap, setting them up for deportation should the Republicans get in

  2. Trump’s first DREAMer deportation

    Manuel Montes, 23, who has lived in the US since age 9, and was granted deportation protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was detained by ICE agents in Calexico, Calif., Feb. 17. Montes had left his wallet in a friend's car, so he couldn't produce his ID or proof of his DACA status and was told by agents he couldn't retrieve them. Within three hours, he was back in Mexico, becoming the first immigrant with active DACA status deported by the Trump administration. (USA Today, April 18)

  3. Judge blocks Trump DACA suspension

    Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Jan. 9 temporarily blocked the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives undocumented immigrants brought into the US as children, known as "Dreamers," protection from deportation.

    In September the Trump administration announced plans to end the DACA program, which was subsequently challenged by state attorneys general and individuals. (Jurist)

  4. Second federal judge blocks DACA repeal

    A judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York has blocked (PDF)  the Trump administration from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which gives undocumented immigrants brought into the US as children, known as "Dreamers," protection from deportation.

    The lawsuit was originally filed by 17 state attorneys general who primarily argued that the repeal of DACA was "arbitrary and capricious." That standard holds that there must be a "legally adequate" reason for actions such as repealing any legislation.

    Judge Nicholas Garaufis stated that:

    To the extent the decision to end the DACA program was based on the Attorney General's determination that the program is unconstitutional, that determination was legally erroneous, and the decision was therefore arbitrary and capricious.

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a plaintiff in the case, stated:

    Today's ruling reflects not only the illegality of the Trump Administration's move to rescind DACA, but also the clear and demonstrable benefits DACA provides to New Yorkers across our great state. I am proud to lead a coalition of 17 state attorneys general who have been fighting in court since September to protect Dreamers and preserve this vital program.

    A federal judge in California had previously blocked the DACA repeal, a decision the Trump administration has appealed to the US Supreme Court. (Jurist, Feb. 14)

  5. Supreme Court declines to hear DACA case

    The US Supreme Court on Feb. 26 declined to hear an expedited appeal of a ruling that blocked the Department of Justice (DoJ) from cancelling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DoJ took the unusual step of appealing to the Supreme Court before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit weighed on the trial court judgement. The Supreme Court denied the case without prejudice and asked the appeals court to proceed expeditiously when deciding the case.

    The order means the Department of Homeland Security must continue to accept renewal applications from people who are currently enrolled. However, applications from people who have not participated in the program before are not required to be considered. The case is currently in the early stages of being heard before the Ninth Circuit.

    Another federal judge in New York also blocked the Trump administration from ending the DACA program earlier this month. The DACA program will not end on March 5 and will continue to run at least until a decision is reached by the Ninth Circuit. The DoJ could appeal to the Supreme Court again once the appeals court rules on the matter. (Jurist)

  6. Federal judge rules Trump had right to end DACA

    A federal judge in Maryland on March 5 rejected a challenge to President Donald Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrival (DACA) program, an Obama-era immigration policy that protects undocumented children. Judge Roger Titus stated that while he does not agree with Trump's decision, it is not the job of the judiciary to set immigration policy. "This Court does not like the outcome of this case, but is constrained by its constitutionally limited role to the result that it has reached," Titus wrote. (Jurist)

  7. Judge reverses Trump decision to end DACA

    The US District Court for the District of Columbia on April 24 vacated (PDF) the Trump administration's efforts to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children from deportation and provides them with renewable work permits.

    Judge John D. Bates found that the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS)  decision to rescind DACA protections "was arbitrary and capricious because the Department failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful," and thus was a violation of DHS's rule-making authority.

    If the order were to go into effect, DHS would be required to "accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications," and thus the ruling is broader than earlier decisions halting the program issued by the Northern District of California and the Eastern District of New York. Notably, the DC court's ruling conflicts with a decision rejecting a challenge to DACA's termination issued last month by a federal court in Maryland. (Jurist)

  8. Federal judge orders reinstatement of DACA

    A judge for the US District Court for the District Court of Columbia on Aug. 3 reversed (PDF) the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, finding the decision was arbitrary and capricious.

    The decision comes after a previous ruling gave DHS 90 days to provide adequate support for the decision. DHS submitted a new memorandum in June in support of the decision, referred to as the Nielsen Memo (PDF). The court found that the Nielsen Memo “fails to elaborate meaningfully on the agency’s primary rationale for its decision: the judgment that the policy was unlawful and unconstitutional.” (Jurist)

  9. Appeals court upholds block on Trump’s attempt to end DACA

    A federal appeals court on Nov. 8 upheld a lower court's temporary order preventing President Donald Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Trump’s decision to phase out the DACA program, which allows roughly 700,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children to obtain work permits and protects them from deportation, was likely "arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law." (Politico)

  10. Supreme Court blocks Trump’s move to scrap DACA

    The Supreme Court ruled June 18 that the Trump administration may not immediately proceed with its plan to end DACA, the┬áprogram protecting about 700,000 young immigrants known as Dreamers from deportation.┬áThe court ruled 5-4 that the 2017 rescission of DACA┬áwas carried out in an “arbitrary and capricious”┬ámanner in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. (NYT,┬áEducation Week)

  11. Judge orders restoration of DACA

    A federal judge on Dec. 4 ordered the Trump administration to fully restore an Obama-era initiative that protects undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children from deportation, requiring officials to open the program to new applicants for the first time since 2017.

    Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the US District Court in Brooklyn instructed the Department of Homeland Security to post a public notice within three days stating that the department will accept and adjudicate petitions Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

    Garaufis also instructed officials to grant approved applicants work permits for two years, instead of the one-year period proposed by the Trump administration over the summer. An estimated one million undocumented immigrant teens and young adults who qualify for DACA  could soon apply for the program in the wake of the order, according to lawyers who sued the Trump administration. (CBS)