The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has unanimously agreed to join in litigation, or to file an amicus brief supporting California’s lawsuit against the federal government’s efforts to dismantle the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
DACA was created through an executive order by President Barack Obama in 2012 and currently protects tens of thousands of Los Angeles County residents from deportation.
The program shields undocumented immigrants who entered or stayed in the country as children from deportation, and gives them work permits and social security numbers. Over 700,000 individuals who call the United States their home benefit from this program. DACA recipients are often called “Dreamers.”
Trump first attempted to get rid of DACA in Sept. 2017, when a federal memorandum stated that “Department of Homeland Security personnel shall take all appropriate actions to execute a wind-down of the program.”
While the Trump administration attempted to rescind DACA, the Supreme Court decided against ending the program on June 18, 2020. The Executive Branch has indicated that it plans to continue its efforts to dismantle DACA.
The motion passed by the LA County Board of Supervisors was written by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas in response to a July 28 memorandum by the federal government that called for all new DACA applicants to be rejected. Additionally, those who are already DACA recipients are now being asked to reapply every year, instead of the usual two year period.
Making the $495 renewal fee a yearly cost is a significant economic burden for many DACA recipients.
“I think that [Trump’s] defiance of the Supreme Court is not only a cruel act towards Dreamers but to the entire immigrant community,” Claudia, a Long Beach resident and DACA recipient, told the Signal Tribune. “He needs to accept the decision of the Supreme Court. Having us renew DACA every year doubles the amount of money that we have to spend on forms and fees. It is already difficult for many of us to pay every two years and now we will have to pay every year. He’s trying to limit us and attack us based on our socioeconomic status. It’s terrible that he’s not allowing new recipients because there are so many young dreamers turning of age to be eligible for the program. We deserve to not live in fear everyday wondering what will happen to us. We have worked hard for what we have and now the Trump administration is trying to take it away from us.”
All new and future applications for advance parole absent exceptional circumstances will also be rejected. This allowed DACA recipients to temporarily exit and re-enter the country due to exceptional circumstances.
The motion by the LA County Board of Supervisors also supports Attorney General Xavier Becerra in sending letters to other attorneys general encouraging them to send their own letters in support of DACA to President Donald Trump.
“Now, more than ever, we must be resolved to keep fighting on behalf of our immigrant communities, especially in the face of an administration that has continually attacked a community that is so vital to every facet of our country,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “Those who have relied on DACA for their livelihood and peace of mind need our help. The contributions DACA recipients are making to our nation and county are immeasurable. The economic and human stakes are too high—they deserve and will have our continued support.”