Tuesday, February 13, 2018
WIRAC Wins Nationwide Injunction Halting DACA Termination
Martín Batalla Vidal, a plaintiff in the case, speaks at a rally in 2017.
New York Dreamers secured a significant victory on February 13, 2018 against the Trump Administration’s termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A federal district court granted the Plaintiffs’ motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction to stop the Trump Administration from terminating the DACA policy. The ruling is the second to enjoin the rescission of DACA.
“The Court’s ruling recognizes the ‘staggering’ human costs of terminating DACA, and properly ruled that the government’s proffered reasons were internally inconsistent and simply unjustified.” — Laura Kokotailo ’20
The case, Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen, was brought by six New York Dreamers and the organization Make the Road New York (MRNY), on behalf of its members, employees and clients. The plaintiffs are represented by Yale Law School’s Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and MRNY.
“Today’s ruling gives hope to me and Dreamers around the country,” said Eliana Fernandez, plaintiff and DACA beneficiary who is a member of Make the Road New York. “Unlike Trump and Sessions, the Court has shown that it understands our common humanity—that we’ve lived in this country and contributed to it for many years, that elected officials cannot hatefully attack us with impunity. Dreamers and our families are here to stay.”
“This administration is not above the law,” explained Laura Kokotailo ’20, a WIRAC law student intern. “The Court’s ruling recognizes the ‘staggering’ human costs of terminating DACA, and properly ruled that the government’s proffered reasons were internally inconsistent and simply unjustified.”
The Batalla-Vidal v. Nielsen case was the first in the nation to challenge the DACA termination. This injunction requires the Trump Administration to accept and review DACA renewal applications after the Court found the government failed to explain or justify changing that policy, which affects close to 700,000 individuals and indirectly affects countless more, according to the clinic.
The plaintiffs and allies across the country continue to organize outside the courtroom for the passage of a clean Dream Act that would provide permanent protection.
“While this decision allows DACA recipients to apply for renewal of deferred action under DACA, we still need Congress to act,” said Karen Tumlin, legal director at the National Immigration Law Center. “Young people who have lived almost their entire lives in the United States, and who are contributing to their communities, schools, and employers are an integral part of the fabric of our country. They need a permanent and narrow solution to the problem President Trump created by terminating DACA.”
Read more about the case in the New York Times.