Wednesday, January 31, 2018


New York Dreamers Ask for End to DACA Termination

WIRAC students holding a press conference after a hearing in federal court on January 30, 2018.

Six young Dreamers and the organization Make the Road New York went to federal court in Brooklyn on January 30, 2018, to ask for an end to the DACA termination. They were represented by the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) at Yale Law School. At the hearing, the plaintiffs asked the federal court to issue a ruling halting the Trump Administration’s unlawful decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival’s (DACA) program. 

"We hope that the court will hold the federal government accountable and enjoin the DACA Termination so that 800,000 young people can regain the protections they deserve.” —Hannah Schoen ’19

The clinic argued in court that the DACA termination violated federal law and the Constitution when it failed to undergo required procedures and justify the momentous decision. Plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction, which would halt the DACA Termination, as well as a ruling allowing them to represent a class of all immigrant youth who are or would have been able to receive protection under the DACA program. If granted, the preliminary injunction would reopen a pathway for Dreamers to renew protections under DACA or seek them for the first time. 

“In rescinding the DACA program, the Trump Administration failed to play by its own rules,” said Hannah Schoen ’19, a law student intern in WIRAC. “We hope that the court will hold the federal government accountable and enjoin the DACA Termination so that 800,000 young people can regain the protections they deserve.”

The DACA program has changed the lives of nearly 800,000 young people by granting them work authorization and protection from deportation. As part of their case, plaintiffs have presented evidence to the federal court that shows that after enrolling in the program, young immigrants’ earnings increased dramatically. In addition, they submitted evidence of the benefits DACA also has for Dreamers’ family members, employers, schools, and communities.

The Trump Administration announced the rescission of the DACA program on September 5, 2017. Since then, according to a study by the Center for American Progress, more than 17,000 young immigrants have lost their protections. Every day, 122 people lose their protections. Without a congressional solution or judicial action, on March 5, 2018, this rate will increase to 915 per day, the report states. 

WIRAC was the first to file a challenge to DACA just hours after the decision by the Trump administration was announced last year. Students in the Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) represent immigrants, low-wage workers, and their organizations in labor, immigration, criminal justice, civil rights, and other matters. The clinic docket includes cases at all stages of legal proceedings in Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, U.S. District Court, the Second Circuit, and before Connecticut state agencies and courts.