NEW JERSEY – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin was in New Orleans Wednesday to support and highlight New Jersey’s work standing up for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy that has protected Dreamers since 2012.
New Jersey Solicitor General Jeremy Feigenbaum presented oral argument in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals For The Fifth Circuit in the case in support of DACA’s legality.
Established in 2012, DACA says that certain immigrants who came to the U.S. as children have the possibility of remaining in the country if they meet various express criteria and review their applications every two years.
New Jersey is home to over 16,000 active DACA grantees, among over 630,000 DACA grantees nationally. According to a 2017 survey, nearly all DACA grantees in New Jersey are employed, more than 900 own their own businesses, 7,800 are in school, 5,600 are pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s or professional degree, and 12,650 have an American citizen sibling, spouse, or child. Nationwide, there are over 250,000 U.S. citizen children born to a DACA grantee.
“For years now, New Jersey has been a leader in defending DACA, and I am proud to be in New Orleans continuing the fight to uphold it,” Platkin said. “DACA is a crucial policy that has provided opportunity for hundreds of thousands of hard-working people across the U.S., including thousands who proudly call New Jersey home. DACA recipients are our family members, neighbors, colleagues, students, and friends, and they are an important part of New Jersey’s diverse communities. We will never stop fighting for our Dreamers.”
“We’re proud to see Acting AG Platkin defend and support our immigrant communities before the Fifth Circuit today,” said Erika Martinez, Youth Leader of Make the Road New Jersey. “We know that DACA is legal and that it has been life-changing for tens of thousands of New Jersey immigrant youth. DACA recipients, those who qualify and were never able to apply, and our families only enrich the diversity and economy of our Garden State communities and our country. Immigrant youth organized to win DACA and we will continue to organize for a pathway to citizenship. Today we fight in the courts to say that our home is here.”
The Trump Administration sought to end DACA in 2017, but was enjoined by several courts from doing so. 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 moved to intervene in the case, arguing that the Trump Administration was not adequately defending DACA. At the urging of New Jersey and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which also intervened in the case, the Southern District of Texas denied Texas’s request to immediately end the policy. Although the Southern District of Texas ultimately concluded that DACA was unlawful, the district judge stayed that injunction in significant part while the appeal in this case proceeds.
The case is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. At the Fifth Circuit, New Jersey continues to argue that the DACA policy remains lawful, and that the appellate court should not issue an order ending it. The oral argument was on July 6 and began at around 10:00 a.m. EST.
To view a timeline of litigation in this case, click here.