On behalf of the 650,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients currently living in the United States, the University of California applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Trump administration’s arbitrary attempt to end a program that allowed immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to live and work in the country they know as home.

“Justice and the rule of law won the day,” said UC President Janet Napolitano, who helped create DACA when she served as secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama. “The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the University of California and the California attorney general’s challenge against the Trump administration’s capricious action is a victory for hundreds of thousands of young people who are making vital contributions to their families, schools, employers and the nation.”

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable ... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals,’” said John A. Pérez, chair of the UC Board of Regents and speaker emeritus of the California Assembly. “Today we thank those dedicated individuals who stood with the University of California, the state of California, and all the groups that supported our case. Their tireless exertions and passionate concern defeated the Trump administration's senseless attack on young immigrants who have lived here all their lives. Although the battle to provide a permanent status for DACA participants continues, and much sacrifice and struggle remains, today we join the entire UC community and all DACA recipients to celebrate this day of justice.” 

In September 2017, UC became the first university to sue the Department of Homeland Security for its rescission of DACA.

Many contributed to this victory. Several courageous DACA participants presented evidence in the lawsuit, sharing their compelling stories. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was a powerful ally who also filed suit to restore DACA, as did numerous other states, entities and individual DACA participants. Following the University’s 2017 suit, more than 1,000 individuals, companies, institutions of higher education, religious institutions, law enforcement officials, advocacy groups and academics signed on to briefs in support of the challenge to DACA’s rescission. The lawsuit was filed with the pro bono support of the law firm Covington & Burling LLP.

Since it was created, DACA has permitted more than 800,000 young immigrants to live and work lawfully in the United States. The next step is for Congress to enact permanent protection for DACA recipients that will provide a pathway to citizenship.

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