U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Batalla Vidal v. McAleenan and Other Legal Challenges to Trump’s Termination of DACA

June 28, 2019

– Juan Gastelum, National Immigration Law Center, 213-375-3149, [email protected]
– Yatziri Tovar, Make the Road New York, [email protected], 917-771-2818
– Edgar Melgar, Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) at Yale Law School, 203-479-2316, [email protected]

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Batalla Vidal v. McAleenan and Other Legal Challenges to Trump’s Termination of DACA

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court today granted the Trump administration’s unusual request to review legal challenges to the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) even before two federal appeals courts have reviewed the cases.

The Court is likely to hear oral arguments in the fall or winter. For now, three U.S. district courts’ orders, which allow current DACA recipients to renew their protections, are still in effect. The Supreme Court did not stay any of the lower court orders when it agreed to hear the cases, which means that DACA recipients can continue to submit renewal applications.

“President Trump has been overt about his unconscionable scheme to throw the future of DACA into uncertainty and use immigrant youth as a bargaining chip to advance an extremist, anti-immigrant agenda,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law center. “His administration has gone so far as to refuse even to consider legislative action to provide relief and has repeatedly blocked bipartisan efforts to enact a permanent solution. This tactic, which is rooted in white nationalism and includes jailing and deporting as many people as possible, militarizing the border, and severely cutting avenues for people to come to the U.S, has already caused immeasurable harm.“

Batalla Vidal v. McAleenan, the first lawsuit that sought to challenge the termination of DACA, was brought by six New York DACA recipients and the advocacy organization Make the Road New York. They are represented by the National Immigration Law Center, Make the Road New York, and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) at Yale Law School.

“For seven years, the hugely successful and popular DACA initiative has opened up opportunities and provided a sense of security to hundreds of thousands of eligible immigrant youth, to the benefit of everyone in our communities,” said Edgar Melgar, law student intern in WIRAC at Yale Law School. “We will continue to vigorously defend DACA alongside the many courageous young people and organizations — including our plaintiffs Martín Batalla Vidal, Antonio Alarcon, Eliana Fernandez, Carolina Fung Feng, Mariano Mondragon, Carlos Vargas, and Make the Road New York — who are fighting back against Trump’s cruel, reckless, race-driven, and illegal termination of DACA.”

Courts across the country have repeatedly agreed with plaintiffs in their assertion that the Trump administration’s termination of DACA was arbitrary and capricious, with callous disregard for the major disruption this sudden move would cause.

“If the Supreme Court reverses the current injunctions and allows Trump to end DACA, the consequences will be devastating for myself and my family, and I know my story is echoed by hundreds of thousands of people like me across the country,” said Eliana Fernandez, a plaintiff in the lawsuit and member of Make the Road New York. “Trump’s decision to end DACA doesn’t just hurt immigrant youth: our children, our parents, our employers, our schools, and the country as a whole would be worse off if DACA were to disappear.”

“DACA isn’t just morally and legally sound, it’s also broadly supported across the country,” said Javier H. Valdés, co-executive director of Make the Road New York. “We hope the Supreme Court will agree with the analysis of the lower courts, affirm the injunctions, and uphold the rule of law. Now is the time for justices to do what’s right for the rule of law and our country and reject the Trump administration’s unlawful termination of DACA.”