New York Dreamers Obtain Ruling Halting DACA Termination

February 13, 2018

• Juan Gastelum, National Immigration Law Center, [email protected], 213-375-3149
• Daniel Altschuler, Make the Road New York, [email protected], 917-494-5922
• Susanna Evarts, Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, Yale Law School, [email protected], 207-653-9499

New York Dreamers Obtain Ruling Halting DACA Termination

NEW YORK — New York Dreamers secured a significant victory today against the Trump administration’s unlawful 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.

“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 [Attorney General Jeff] 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, a law student intern in the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School. “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 injunction was obtained in Batalla-Vidal v. Nielsen, the first case brought 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.

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.”

The Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen case was brought by six New York Dreamers and Make the Road New York on behalf of its members, employees, clients, and itself. The plaintiffs are represented by Yale Law School’s Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and Make the Road New York (MRNY).

Today’s order is available at