NJ Fights for Dreamers at Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy that has protected Dreamers – people who immigrated to the U.S. as children and meet several essential guidelines for deferred action – since 2012.

On July 6, New Jersey Solicitor General Jeremy Feigenbaum presented an oral argument in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit supporting DACA’s legality.

Established in 2012, DACA allows certain immigrants who came to the U.S as children the possibility of remaining in the country if they meet various criteria and review their applications every two years.

New Jersey is home to over 16,000 active DACA grantees, among the over 630,000 DACA grantees nationally.

According to a 2017 survey, nearly all DACA grantees in New Jersey are employed, over 900 own their own business, 7,800 are in school, 5,600 are pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s, or professional’s degree, and 12,650 have an American citizen as a sibling, spouse, or child – nationwide there are over 250,000 U.S. citizen children born to a DACA grantee.

The Tr*mp administration sought to end DACA in 2017 but was prevented by several district and state courts. Subsequently, Texas and seven other states filed a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Texas arguing that DACA is illegal because its creation occurred without congressional action and exceeded then-president Obama’s authority.

In May 2018, New Jersey intervened in the case arguing that the Tr*mp administration was not adequately defending DACA. Eventually, the Southern District of Texas denied the state’s request to end the DACA policy. And although the Southern District of Texas ultimately concluded that DACA was unlawful, the district judge stayed that injunction while this current case proceeds.

The future of DACA is now before the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit where New Jersey continues to argue that DACA is a lawful policy that needs protecting.



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