Los Angeles County is among the leaders of a national coalition of 40 U.S. cities and counties, along with the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, in filing a legal brief seeking to prevent the termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
LA County, along with the cities of Long Beach, Santa Monica and West Hollywood are among the cities and governments joining in the amicus brief, along with New York City, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
The brief asks the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold an existing injunction against the Department of Homeland Security preventing it from terminating the DACA program.
DACA, created by DHS through an executive order by former President Barack Obama in 2012, allows about 850,000 immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children — often referred to as “Dreamers’’ — to work and study openly without fear of deportation. The Trump administration announced last September that it would end DACA in March unless Congress passed legislation to save the program.
When announcing the termination of the program last September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said “the compassionate thing is to end the lawlessness, enforce our laws, and, if Congress chooses to make changes to those laws, to do so through the process set forth by our founders in a way that advances the interest of the nation.’’
Congress has not passed any legislation to preserve DACA, but federal judges have so far blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the program.
Nearly 50 percent of all currently active DACA recipients live within the borders of the 40 cities and counties participating in the amicus brief.
The amicus brief states that local jurisdictions will suffer direct economic harm if DACA is rescinded, and that it would make communities less safe and DACA recipients much less likely to report criminal activity out of fear of deportation. The brief also argues that in terminating DACA, DHS acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner, failed to comply with the requirements of the Administrative Procedures Act, and did not provide supportable rationale for the decision to terminate the program.