UC, DACA recipients get their day in Supreme Court

Today is the culmination of a two-year journey for the University of California, its undocumented students and the nation, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in UC’s lawsuit against the Trump administration over its attempts to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“America is a beacon of justice and opportunity and today we stood up for the young immigrants who seek both,” said UC President Janet Napolitano on the steps of the Supreme Court. Napolitano signed the directive that created the DACA policy when she served as the secretary of Homeland Security during the Obama administration.

“Our suit demands that the Trump administration abide by the law and abandon its attempts to upend the lives of young people who have been living with uncertainty and fear in the country they call home. This case is not just a matter of what is legal — it is about what is right.”

“Today, UC provided a teaching moment in one of the biggest classrooms in the world,” said John A. Pérez, chair of the UC Board of Regents and Speaker Emeritus of the California Assembly. “Everyone paying attention to the arguments in the Supreme Court got to see the university standing up not only for our DACA students, but also for the overriding principles of fair play and justice under the law. The work to protect all of UC's students has been decades in the making, and that work will not stop regardless of this particular court's decision in this particular case. UC knows better than anyone our students' contributions and their potential. We will continue to enlighten and empower all our students — and, as the arguments put forth by counsel today made clear, we will continue to fight for them as well."

In September 2017, UC became the first university to sue the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its rescission of DACA, a program that protects from deportation young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The U.S. is home to some 700,000 DACA recipients.

The resulting preliminary injunctions by the courts have enabled more than 500,000 DACA recipients across the nation to renew their DACA status and live and work in the United States.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 individuals, companies, institutions of higher education, religious institutions, law enforcement officials, advocacy groups, and scholars, representing nearly every element of American civil society have signed on in support of the challenge to DACA’s rescission.

A decision by the Supreme Court is expected by June. For more information on UC’s efforts to support DACA recipients, please go here.