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De Blasio Administration Joins Amicus Brief Supporting DACA in Advance of Supreme Court Arguments

October 8, 2019

NYC signed an amicus brief in support of 700,000 undocumented young immigrants nationwide; roughly 30,000 New Yorkers are DACA recipients

NEW YORK—The de Blasio Administration today announced that it has joined cities, counties, and other municipalities across the country in the filing of an amicus brief supporting roughly 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients nationwide, nearly 30,000 residing in New York City. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the DACA program on November 12, 2019.

Among the 109 signers are 105 cities, counties and other municipalities, along with the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the International Municipal Lawyers Association, and the International City/County Management Association.

“Dreamers are our friends and neighbors - and New Yorkers always have each other’s backs,” said Mayor de Blasio. “We are joining jurisdictions around the country to stand up to the President’s hateful and misguided policies. These young people must be allowed to stay in the only homes they have ever known.”

“Localities across the country have come together with a shared message—the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers that call our cities and counties home make our economies and communities stronger and safer. A rescission of the DACA program would cause harm to all of us,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “We urge the Supreme Court to ensure Dreamers have the opportunity to live free from fear, and we encourage DACA recipients to consult with an attorney and consider their renewal options. New York City residents who may be eligible to renew their DACA status can call 311 and say ‘ActionNYC’ for City-funded, free and safe immigration legal help.”

“The decision to end DACA is not only an unconscionable attack on the thousands of people who add so much to the vitality of our cities, it is unlawful, as federal courts across the country have repeatedly made clear,” said Acting Corporation Counsel Georgia M. Pestana. “We’re joining cities in urging the Supreme Court to uphold federal rulings so that our local economies are not harmed, needless suffering can be prevented, and Dreamers can stay in the only places they know as home.”

Since 2012, the DACA program has been extraordinarily successful, offering temporary protection from deportation and the ability to work legally to about 700,000 young immigrants who came to the United States as children. As presented in the amicus brief, the program directly benefits the health, safety, and welfare of all residents by encouraging DACA recipients to openly participate in their communities and interact with local government without fear. Dreamers, communities, and the economy will suffer substantial harm if the program ends. Nationally, DACA recipients and their households pay an estimated $5.7 billion in federal taxes and $3.1 billion in state and local taxes annually.

On September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it was terminating the DACA program, jeopardizing the futures of hundreds of thousands of young people. In the past two years, multiple courts have kept renewals ongoing for current DACA recipients, but Dreamers have still been forced to live court case to court case, uncertain about their futures and in fear of being separated from their families and the lives they have built over decades in the United States. If the Supreme Court allows the program to be terminated, it will have severe consequences for DACA recipients, their families, communities, and the economy, as well as the 256,000 U.S. citizen children of DACA recipients.

The future of DACA — and the futures of hundreds of thousands of Dreamers — will be argued at the U.S. Supreme Court on November 12, 2019. The Court could hand down a ruling as soon as January 2020 determining if Dreamers will lose the ability to live, study, and work in the United States.

New York City is home to an estimated 30,000 current DACA recipients, with an additional 45,000 New Yorkers potentially eligible to apply for the program. On average, these Dreamers have lived in the U.S. for 13 years and arrived in the U.S. when they were 9 years old.

Nearly 40% of the 75,000 DACA and DACA-eligible population in New York City have either graduated or are attending college, and over 10,000 are either homeowners or contribute to mortgages.

About 62% of the DACA-eligible population participates in the labor force—a similar rate as the general population of New York City. Every year, DACA-eligible New Yorkers account for approximately $935 million in income in New York City.

New York City Dreamers are employed in many different sectors, including over 6,000 who work as managers or professionals and about 4,500 who work in educational and health services industries.

The amicus brief was drafted by the City and County of Los Angeles, California. In addition to New York City, other jurisdictions joining the brief include San Francisco, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Baltimore, Maryland; Honolulu, Hawaii; Seattle, Washington; and the cities of Albany, New Rochelle, and Rochester, New York.

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