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Attorney General Josh Stein Continues Fight to Protect Dreamers and Preserve DACA

For Immediate Release:
Friday, August 28, 2020

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

(RALEIGH) Following North Carolina’s win at the U.S. Supreme Court in June, Attorney General Josh Stein today continued the fight against the Trump administration’s efforts to threaten to deport Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) grantees, or Dreamers. In a motion filed today, Attorney General Stein and 16 other attorneys general are seeking to have the DACA program restored to where it stood in 2017, as the U.S. Supreme Court ordered.

“The Supreme Court has already made this clear – Dreamers must be able to study, work, and contribute to their communities in the United States without fear of deportation,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’ll fight in court to ensure that the federal government upholds their rights.”

After the Supreme Court ruled in June that the Trump administration’s attempts to cancel the DACA program were unlawful, the program was supposed to resume. However, a memo issued in July by acting secretary of homeland security Chad Wolf directs the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to reject all new initial DACA applications, to change the renewal period for current beneficiaries from two years to one year, and to reject all advance parole applications absent exceptional circumstances. The memo also purports to apply these changes retroactively to all applications submitted after the date of the Supreme Court decision.

North Carolina is home to approximately 24,000 DACA grantees, and there are approximately 825,000 DACA recipients across the country. These individuals came to the country as children and were granted DACA status after paying application fees, submitting to and passing background checks, and applying for work permits. DACA grantees contribute more than $80.3 million annually in state and local taxes in North Carolina. Additionally, more than 7,600 Dreamers across the country are serving on the front lines of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, in health care, education, and food-related jobs.

The coalition argues that DHS’s new memo and its issuance by the acting secretary violate the Administrative Procedure Act, the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, and the Homeland Security Act.

Attorney General Stein is joined in today’s filings by the Attorneys General of New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the amended complaint is available here.

A copy of the motion for partial summary judgment is available here.

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