Congressional Leaders File Bipartisan Amicus Brief In Support Of DACA In The Supreme Court

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) today led 49 Senators and former Senators and 123 U.S. Representatives and former Representatives in filing a bipartisan amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  The Supreme Court will hear arguments on DACA on November 12, 2019.  President Trump terminated the DACA program on September 5, 2017, throwing the lives of nearly 800,000 Dreamers into chaos.

“When President Trump ended DACA more than two years ago, he set in motion a crisis jeopardizing the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people and their families.  He then demanded his entire anti-immigrant wish-list as ransom to restore these young people’s protections. Now he’s taking this fight all the way to the Supreme Court,” Durbin said.  “That’s why it is imperative for the Senate to pass the American Dream and Promise Act now.  I will not rest until these young people and their families have the future in America that they deserve.”

“President Trump’s decision to terminate DACA created a moral emergency for our nation, put the fate of 800,000 young people on the line and broke with decades of congressional and executive precedent that recognized the legality of deferred action,” Lofgren said.  “DREAMers are as American as any of us – except for the paperwork, and both Democratic and Republican administrations have lawfully and reasonably prevented the mass deportation of innocent young people. This Administration’s purported justification for terminating DACA is wrong as a matter of law and history, and the Supreme Court must join us on the right side of history.”

“President Trump's claim that the law made him take away DACA’s protections is completely false,” said Elizabeth Wydra, President of Constitutional Accountability Center, which filed the brief on behalf of Members of Congress.  “President Trump knows DACA is incredibly popular—and that devastating the families of DACA recipients draws righteous outrage—so he wants the Supreme Court to do his dirty work and say he had no choice but to end DACA.  The question now is whether Chief Justice Roberts will follow the law and stand up to President Trump.”

Durbin, the lead sponsor of the Dream Act, has been fighting to pass this bipartisan legislation since 2001.  And in April 2010, Durbin and then-Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) were the first members of Congress to call for the establishment of the DACA program. 

Lofgren, Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, is an original co-sponsor of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019.

In June, the House passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019.  This legislation will establish a path to citizenship for Dreamers and immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforced Departure (DED), whose protections President Trump has also ended.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has refused to allow a debate or vote on the bill for more than 100 days.  In March, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Durbin introduced the Dream Act of 2019.  For the past two years, President Trump rejected at least six different bipartisan proposals to solve the DACA crisis that he created.

Along with Durbin, the amicus brief is also signed by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King, Angus (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), as well as former Senators Gary Hart (D-CO), Carl Levin (D-MI), Harry Reid (D-NV), and Mark Udall (D-CO).

Along with Lofgren, the amicus brief is also signed by U.S. Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY-10), Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12), Steny Hoyer (D-MD-05), Jim Clyburn (D-SC-06), Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Pete Aguilar (D-CA-31), Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44), Karen Bass (D-CA-37), Don Beyer (D-VA-08), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Anthony Brown (D-MD-04), Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA-29), Andre Carson (D-IN-07), Sean Casten (D-IL-06), Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), David Cicilline (D-RI-01), Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39), Yvette Clarke (D-NY-09), Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), Lou Correa (D-CA-46), Jim Costa (D-CA-16), TJ Cox (D-CA-21), Jason Crow (D-CO-06), Elijah Cummings (D-MD-07), Danny Davis (D-IL-07), Susan Davis (D-CA-53), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Diana DeGette (D-CO-01), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Suzan DelBene (D-WA-01), Val Demings (D-FL-10), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11), Ted Deutch (D-FL-22), Eliot Engel (D-NY-16), Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16), Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), Dwight Evans (D-PA-03), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-02), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07), John Garamendi (D-CA-03), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29), Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL-04), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34), Al Green (D-TX-09), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03), Deb Haaland (D-NM-01), Josh Harder (D-CA-10), Jahana Hayes (D-CT-05), Katie Hill (D-CA-25), Jared Huffman (D-CA-02), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08), Hank Johnson (D-GA-04), Bill Keating (D-MA-09), Ro Khanna (D-CA-17), Dan Kildee (D-MI-05), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI-14), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Andy Levin (D-MI-09), John Lewis (D-GA-05), Ted Lieu (D-CA-33), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), Doris Matsui (D-CA-06), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), Donald McEachin (D-VA-04), Jim McGovern (D-MA-02), Jerry McNerney (D-CA-09), Gregory Meeks (D-NY-05), Grace Meng (D-NY-06), Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32), Joe Neguse (D-CO-02), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-DE), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), Scott Peters (D-CA-52), Mark Pocan (D-WI-02), Katie Porter (D-CA-45), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04), Cedric Richmond (D-LA-02), Harley Rouda (D-CA-48), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Linda Sánchez (D-CA-39), Jan Schakowsky D-IL-09), Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), Brad Schneider (D-IL-10), José Serrano (D-NY-15), Albio Sires (D-NJ-08), Adam Smith (D-WA-09), Darren Soto (D-FL-09), Greg Stanton (D-AZ-09), Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15), Mark Takano (D-CA-41), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS-02), Dina Titus (D-NV-01), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13), Norma Torres (D-CA-35), Juan Vargas (D-CA-51), Filemon Vela (D-TX-34), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY-07), Peter Welch (D-VT), and John Yarmuth (D-KY-03), and former Representatives Charles Gonzalez (D-TX-20), Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY-16), Ray LaHood (R-IL-18), Constance Morella (R-MD-08), Claudine Schneider (R-RI-02), David Skaggs (D-CO-02), Peter Smith (R-VT), and Henry Waxman (D-CA-33).

Full text of the amicus brief is available here.