Congressional Leaders File Bipartisan Amicus Brief In Support Of DACA In The Supreme Court

October 4, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (NY-10), along with Senator Dick Durbin (IL), led 172 current and former Members of Congress in filing a bipartisan amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on DACA on November 12, 2019. President Trump terminated the DACA program on September 5, 2017, throwing the lives of nearly 800,000 Dreamers into chaos.

“President Trump’s decision to terminate DACA created a moral emergency for our nation, put the fate of 800,000 young people on the line and broke with decades of congressional and executive precedent that recognized the legality of deferred action,” said Lofgren, Chair of the House Judiciary's Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee. “DREAMers are as American as any of us – except for the paperwork, and both Democratic and Republican administrations have lawfully and reasonably prevented the mass deportation of innocent young people. This Administration’s purported justification for terminating DACA is wrong as a matter of law and history, and the Supreme Court must join us on the right side of history.”

“The United States is home to 800,000 Dreamers who came to this country as young children and have built their lives here. Today, they serve as teachers, public servants, organizers, first responders, and entrepreneurs. Instead of respecting the promise that our federal government made, President Donald Trump decided to terminate the DACA program and put the legal status of hundreds of thousands on the line. We cannot allow his abandonment of our American values and the legacy of bipartisan support for DACA to decide the fate, legal rights, and future of Dreamers,” said Castro, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “I urge the Supreme Court to listen to lawmakers, advocates, and hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, and uphold the DACA program in the highest court of the land.”

“DACA recipients have lived here nearly their whole lives – they are our neighbors, our children’s classmates, and members of our military,” said Nadler, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. “They are an essential part of building this country’s future, which is why President Trump’s decision to terminate the DACA program was dangerous, unlawful, and immoral. It attempts to deny the nearly 800,000 DACA recipients who were brought here as children the chance of living the American Dream. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in standing up to the Administration’s shameful decision.”

In June, the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, authored by Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) and co-authored by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (NY-7) and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (NY-9). This legislation will establish a path to citizenship for Dreamers and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), whose protections President Trump has also ended. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has refused to allow a debate or vote on the bill for more than 100 days. In March, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Durbin introduced the Dream Act of 2019. For the past two years, President Trump rejected at least six different bipartisan proposals to solve the DACA crisis that he created.

Along with Lofgren, Castro and Nadler the amicus brief is also signed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05), Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (SC-06), and Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) along with U.S. Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Pete Aguilar (D-CA-31), Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44), Karen Bass (D-CA-37), Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Anthony Brown (D-MD-04), Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29), Andre Carson (D-IN-07), Sean Casten (D-IL-06), Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), David Cicilline (D-RI-01), Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39), Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09), Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), Lou Correa (D-CA-46), Jim Costa (D-CA-16), TJ Cox (D-CA-21), Jason Crow (D-CO-06), Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07), Danny Davis (D-IL-07), Susan Davis (D-CA-53), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Diana DeGette (D-CO-01), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01), Val Demings (D-FL-10), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11), Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Eliot Engel (D-NY-16), Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16), Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), Dwight Evans (D-PA-03), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07), John Garamendi (D-CA-03), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34), Al Green (D-TX-09), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03), Deb Haaland (D-NM-01), Josh Harder (D-CA-10), Jahana Hayes (D-CT-05), Katie Hill (D-CA-25), Jared Huffman (D-CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07), Hank Johnson (D-GA-04), Bill Keating (D-MA-09), Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Dan Kildee (D-MI-05), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI-14), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Andy Levin (D-MI-09), John Lewis (D-GA-05), Ted Lieu (D-CA-33), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), Doris Matsui (D-CA-06), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), Donald McEachin (D-VA-04), Jim McGovern (D-MA-02), Jerry McNerney (D-CA-09), Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05), Grace Meng (D-NY-06), Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32), Joe Neguse (D-CO-02), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-DE), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Scott Peters (D-CA-52), Mark Pocan (D-WI-02), Katie Porter (D-CA-45), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04), Cedric Richmond (D-LA-02), Harley Rouda (D-CA-48), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Linda Sánchez (D-CA-39), Jan Schakowsky D-IL-09), Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), Brad Schneider (D-IL-10), José Serrano (D-NY-15), Albio Sires (D-NJ-08), Adam Smith (D-WA-09), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Greg Stanton (D-AZ-09), Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15), Mark Takano (D-CA-41), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS-02), Dina Titus (D-NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), Norma Torres (D-CA-35), Juan Vargas (D-CA-51), Filemon Vela (D-TX-34), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY-07), Peter Welch (D-VT), and John Yarmuth (D-KY-03), and former Representatives Charles Gonzalez (D-TX-20), Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY-16), Ray LaHood (R-IL-18), Constance Morella (R-MD-08), Claudine Schneider (R-RI-02), David Skaggs (D-CO-02), Peter Smith (R-VT), and Henry Waxman (D-CA-33).

Along with Durbin, the amicus brief is also signed by Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King, Angus (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), as well as former Senators Gary Hart (D-CO), Carl Levin (D-MI), Harry Reid (D-NV), and Mark Udall (D-CO).

Full text of the amicus brief is available here.