Today, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the preliminary injunction enjoining the Dept. of Homeland Security from rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). The case is Regents of the University of California v. USDHS.
Forget the law. This is what the case is about:
It is no hyperbole to say that Dulce Garcia embodies the American dream. Born into poverty, Garcia and her parents shared a San Diego house with other families to save money on rent; she was even homeless for a time as a child. But she studied hard and excelled academically in high school. When her family could not afford to send her to the top university where she had been accepted, Garcia enrolled in a local community college and ultimately put herself through a four-year university, where she again excelled while working full-time as a legal assistant. She then was awarded a scholarship that, together with her mother’s life savings, enabled her to fulfill her longstanding dream of attending and graduating from law school. Today, Garcia maintains a thriving legal practice in San Diego, where she represents members of underserved communities in civil, criminal, and immigration proceedings.
On the surface, Dulce Garcia appears no different from any other productive—indeed, inspiring—young American. But one thing sets her apart. Garcia’s parents brought her to this country in violation of United States immigration laws when she was four years old. Though the United States of America is the only home she has ever known, Dulce Garcia is an undocumented immigrant.
Recognizing the cruelty and wastefulness of deporting productive young people to countries with which they have no ties, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced a policy in 2012 that would provide some relief to individuals like Garcia, while allowing our communities to continue to benefit from their contributions. Known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, the program allows those noncitizens who unwittingly entered the United States as children, who have clean criminal records, and who meet various educational or military service requirements to apply for two-year renewable periods of deferred action—a revocable decision by the government not to deport an otherwise removable person from the country. DACA also allows recipients to apply for authorization to work in this country legally, paying taxes and operating in the above-ground economy. Garcia, along with hundreds of thousands of other young people, trusting the government to honor its promises, leapt at the opportunity.