June 19, 2020

Contact: Sandra Hernandez
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NHLA Praises Supreme Court’s Decision Against Ending DACA, Calls on Congress to Enact Permanent Relief

(WASHINGTON D.C.) – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of more than 40 of the most influential national Latino civil rights organizations in the country, praises the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday to reject the Trump administration’s reasons for rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA). The Court’s 5-4 ruling in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California held that the administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it attempted to end DACA.

The preservation of DACA for now is welcome news and will allow DACA-holders continued protection against deportation and the ability to work and go to school. But the Trump Administration has been consistent in its intent to target and terrorize large sectors of the American public, including immigrants and DACA-holders. NHLA continues its call for Congress to act and to pass the Dream and Promise Act, H.R. 6, in the Senate. Thursday’s decision underscores the need for Congressional action for DACA-holders and Dreamers, and for the entire immigrant population.

“The Supreme Court has, at long last, recognized that Donald Trump’s groveling adherence to white nationalism is not, under our laws, legitimate policymaking; this administration sought to phase out DACA without considering any of the real and weighty policy interests at stake,” said Thomas A. Saenz, NHLA Chair and President and General Counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund). “The Court decision is the inevitable result of enshrining pandering to bigots and racists as the central goal of a presidential administration.”

“This is a profoundly joyful day,” said Frankie Miranda, Hispanic Federation President, and NHLA Immigration Committee co-chair. “For years, DACA recipients have lived in fear that Trump would carry out his threat to strip their protections and deport them and their families after many failed attempts to use them as bargaining chips to advance more harm against immigrant communities. We congratulate young immigrants who led the way to defend the program – in the streets and the courts. We will continue to fight beside them to protect our communities from anti-immigrant attacks by the current administration and its deportation force.”

“The favorable ruling is an example of how America is evolving. Americans are standing up against racial inequities and social injustices and this ruling underscores the protections available for our ‘DACAmented,’” said Ana Marie Argilagos, President and CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy. “Our work continues, in lifting up the rights of all our communities and holding accountable the systems that can ensure those protections.”

“Tonight, ‘DACAmented’ people in this country can sleep a little easier knowing the Trump administration failed to dismantle the program that brought so many immigrants out from the shadows. But it’s no secret that those who rely on DACA and other programs to live, work, and learn in the U.S. are on borrowed time,” said Brenda V. Castillo, President & CEO at the National Hispanic Media Coalition. “Attacks on the Latinx and immigrant community at-large will continue until we hold accountable the leaders of our country for spreading and acting in hate and white supremacy.”

“The Supreme Court’s DACA ruling confirms the Trump Administration violation of the law known as the Administrative Procedure Act when it cruelly attempted to terminate the DACA program,” said Bruce Goldstein, President, Farmworker Justice. “The ruling also demonstrates that even this right-wing Supreme Court is reluctant to allow lawless action by the Trump Administration when a social justice movement like the DREAMers wins over the hearts and minds of the American public. This decision, like other immigration policy issues, is important to the nation’s farmworkers, a majority of whom are undocumented immigrants.”

“The DACA decision by the Supreme Court is an affirmation that home is indeed here for our young people who aspire to nothing else but a fair shot at the American Dream. Their leadership and courage brought us to this moment and LULAC rejoices with them,” said Domingo Garcia, National President for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). “I saw the injustice of our system firsthand back in Texas 2001, and it is why I wrote the nation’s first Dream Act legislation which became a national model. Now 19 other states have the same protections for DREAMers. This is a struggle that we must now continue in order to get a permanent solution that provides all of the protections and freedoms under our democracy. This is not the time to slow down or lose momentum.”

“The Supreme Court decision to protect DACA indicates that Congress needs to fix the immigration laws so that at least 29,000 Dreamers can continue to provide needed healthcare services for our communities,” said Dr. Elena Rios, President & CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association.

Hector Sanchez Barba, CEO and Executive Director of Mi Familia Vota said, “Yesterday the Supreme Court stood with justice. Make no mistake this is not about politics. This is about people. DACA recipients are our friends, neighbors, and family members. They are not statistics, they are human beings, who are here contributing to the betterment of our society. These are Americans in every way but their status. Undocumented immigrants contribute so much to our society, we must now fight to fully include them, and for immediate Congressional reform. This moment is a call to civic participation, while we have gotten a reprieve today we must continue to fight for our DACA and our undocumented family. We must show up at the polls in November and remove the Trump administration as a threat to our community.”

“DACA-eligible immigrants are working and contributing their time, talent and treasure to the U.S., paying approximately $2 billion each year in state and local taxes,” said Ignacio Salazar, President and CEO of SER National – Jobs for Progress. “SER will continue to join our colleagues in fighting for the protection of Dreamers. Beyond the numbers that clearly state the contributions Dreamers make to the U.S., we see each person as a valuable creation with endless capabilities. Because they are.”

“The Supreme Court decision to reject this administration’s tortured machinations to rescind DACA and wreak havoc on the lives of 800,000 immigrants, seventy-eight percent of whom are Mexican, is a welcome respite in the war this president has declared against our gente. Whatever relief DACA recipients enjoy deserves applause. But it also warrants action. Action to stop anti-immigrant hysteria. Action to hold this president accountable for his racist belief that Mexicans are ‘criminals, drug dealers, rapists’ and ‘animals.’ Action that manifests itself in November,” said Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

“As we celebrate that Dreamers can stay and that their reliance on DACA matters, we warn that this decision is more like a reprieve than a permanent victory,” said Kenneth Romero, Executive Director of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL). “Only Justice Sotomayor ruled correctly that there is ample evidence of this administration’s animus against Hispanic immigrants, the majority is allowing DHS a do-over and we must work to impede that.”

“Since the start of DACA, Dreamers have participated in CHCI’s leadership development programs, working hard to build a better future for themselves, their families, and the nation, and we applaud the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that protects nearly 700,000 DACA recipients,” said Marco Davis, President and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). “The ruling is a significant victory now, but it is also a reminder of the urgent need for Congress to provide a permanent fix to our severely broken immigration system that negatively impacts the lives of so many individuals, children, and families, including Dreamers.”

“We celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision on the DACA program, which has been a lifeline for over 700,000 young people in this country, providing them with temporary protections that have enabled them to work, thrive, and make significant contributions to benefit their families and communities,” said Rosie Hidalgo, Senior Director of Public Policy for Casa de Esperanza National Latin@ Network. “However, DACA is only a short-term and unstable solution that is still vulnerable to termination or change in the future unless Congress passes legislation to protect these DREAMERS. We also have seen how many immigrants throughout the country are essential workers but made to live without essential rights and protections, including when facing gender-based violence. We must now continue the march toward full, comprehensive immigration reform that includes an accessible pathway to legal permanency residency and citizenship status for DACA recipients and their families and that helps provide pathways to safety and stability for millions of immigrants in this country who are part of the essential fabric of this nation and the nation’s future.”

“This ruling represents – without a doubt – a reason to celebrate. For the past two years, Dreamers across our nation have lived in limbo, tormented by uncertainty stemmed from this administration’s racist attempt to end a program that allows them to live in this, their country,” said Yanira Merino, LCLAA, National President. “We will continue fighting to ensure that DACA is amended, so that it can provide these young women and men with a pathway to citizenship.”




(The policy positions of NHLA do not reflect the views of every member organization, but reflect the decisions of NHLA as a whole.)

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