We at the Center for Immigration Law, Policy and Justice (“Center for Immigration Law”) are extremely pleased with the Supreme Court’s opinion on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). In Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of California, 591 U.S. __ (2020), the majority of the Supreme Court held that the federal government’s rescission of DACA was “arbitrary and capricious.” It recognized that DACA was a policy that did more than provide deferred action, but also provided benefits such as allowing DACA recipients to work. By arbitrarily revoking DACA, the federal government failed to consider DACA recipients’ legitimate reliable interests on the policy. This historic opinion ensured that about 650,000 DACA recipients nationwide can continue to live and work in the United States. The Supreme Court’s opinion has particular impact in New Jersey where 16,480 DACA recipients call this state their home. 1 in every 20 New Jersey resident is undocumented and many of the 74,000 undocumented college-age youth in New Jersey, including almost 200 students, attend Rutgers University-Newark, for undergraduate or graduate degrees. While this is a time to celebrate, it is also a moment to acknowledge that much work remains. Although the Supreme Court’s opinion restored DACA, the Court recognized that the federal government does have the power to revoke DACA if it follows proper procedures. The Center for Immigration Law affirms our commitment to working with New Jersey state and local policy makers, community-based organizations and social justice-oriented academic partners in advancing equitable and inclusive immigration and citizenship laws, policies and practices. In the upcoming months, the Center for Immigration Law will advocate for:
- Expanding access to professional and occupational licenses for all qualified residents of New Jersey, regardless of immigration or citizenship status.
- In partnership with Make the Road – New Jersey and other advocates, the Center for Immigration Law will share research supporting the need to expand access to professional licenses to ensure that the state will benefit from the talents, skills and tax contributions of DACA recipients, DREAMers and other immigrant residents.
- Stronger implementation of the New Jersey Immigrant Trust Directive.
- Will engage in a broad empirical research that examines and monitors state, county and local government’s implementation of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Immigrant Trust Directive, which limits state, county and local law enforcement interactions with federalimmigration authorities to ensure that the state continues to be welcoming and inclusive of immigrants and their families.
- Increasing the availability of citizenship classes for lawful permanent residents.
- Continue to support comprehensive school policies that ensure our Rutgers University community continues to be a welcoming and supporting educational environment for all regardless of immigration status.