“We must contend for the rights of DACA students.”
WILMINGTON, Del. — DelawareCAN: The Delaware Campaign for Achievement Now joined Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ) and three other groups yesterday in submitting an amicus brief in support of the Plaintiffs that filed lawsuits in Brooklyn, New York federal court fighting against President Trump’s rescission of the DACA program.
DelawareCAN worked with PEJ and three other groups in the 50CAN network – including HawaiiKidsCAN; NewMexicoKidsCAN; and Virginia Excels – to submit a brief detailing the irreparable educational harms that will be experienced by students. The brief presents unique information and perspective to the court beyond what has been provided by the lawyers for the parties, providing critical perspective for the court’s understanding of what is at stake for students. The law firm Cooley LLP provided pro bono representation for this amicus brief filing.
DACA has allowed undocumented young people to take part in many rites of passage, such as obtaining a driver’s license, opening a bank account, working legally and securing an internship, and receiving financial aid – which all position students to pursue long-term educational and career goals. Critically, DACA has also eliminated the daily fear of arrest and deportation among DACA grantees and their family members, which has allowed students to enjoy better mental health, allowing them to focus on their studies rather than their worries and anxiety. If DACA is rescinded, these students will be stripped of the resources that have enabled them to succeed academically in recent years.
“If we set aside the politics and partisanship of this issue, we will see the real students whose education and opportunities are being disrupted and denied by efforts to rescind DACA. If we look further we will see how setting these students lives and learning in turmoil ultimately weakens our state and our nation. Any decision to punish students in this way certainly contradicts the very ideals that undergird our public education system and country. As an organization that fights to ensure all students have access to an excellent education system, we had to use our voice to contend for the rights of these students,” said Atnre Alleyne, Executive Director of DelawareCAN: The Delaware Campaign for Achievement Now.
The full amicus brief can be found here.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy created by President Barack Obama to help protect certain undocumented young people who came to the United States as children. After the Trump Administration announced that it would be phasing out the program, a group of seventeen state attorneys general –including Delaware– filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn, New York federal court to stop the rescission from taking effect. If successful, the lawsuit will preserve the rights of the approximately 800,000 DACA grantees across the country who are covered by the program and have been able to live, study and work in the United States without fear of arrest or deportation.
To immediately stop the Trump administration’s rescission of DACA, on December 15, 2017, the Plaintiff States filed a request for the court to issue a preliminary injunction, which asks the judge to enter an order prohibiting the rescission of DACA from going into effect even before the lawsuit reaches a final resolution. In support of their request for a preliminary injunction, various groups are filing amicus briefs with the court. The court is scheduled to hear oral argument on this request from both sides on January 18, 2018 at the Brooklyn, New York federal courthouse.
About DelawareCAN: The Delaware Campaign for Achievement Now
DelawareCAN is a nonprofit organization that empowers, mobilizes and collaborates with everyday Delawareans to advocate for a high-quality education system. We use research and communications, grassroots organizing, and government relations to ensure Delaware’s education system is excellent for every student.
About Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ)
PEJ pursues educational equity through legal action that empowers families and communities to improve the quality of public schools. PEJ utilizes a variety of legal actions to achieve its mission, including pursuing impact litigation, amicus brief filings, Freedom of Information Act requests, and other law-related avenues that seek to achieve meaningful reforms of education laws or policies that fail to prioritize students’ rights. PEJ is an affiliate of the national education nonprofit 50CAN: 50 State Campaign for Achievement Now, which advocates at the local level for a high-quality education for all kids, regardless of their address.