We’re Suing the Trump Administration for Taking DACA Away From People Who’ve Followed the Rules

In April, President Trump had a message for the 800,000 young undocumented immigrants who were given permission to live in the U.S. under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program: “The dreamers,” he said, “should rest easy.”

We now know that was a lie. In September, Trump announced he was ending the DACA program in six months, plunging nearly a million young immigrants’ lives into chaos. But Trump’s assault on DACA recipients began much earlier than previously known.

During his administration, federal immigration authorities have illegally stripped DACA protections from DACA recipients who have only been accused of a crime or found guilty of a minor misdemeanor that doesn’t affect their DACA status. Their protections have been taken away without any notice, any explanation, or any opportunity to respond. They now face deportation back to their parents’ home countries, even though America is the only true home they’ve ever known.

To stop the government’s abuses, we filed a class action lawsuit today on behalf of DACA recipients and the Inland Empire – Immigrant Youth Collective, a grassroots organization led by immigrant youth in Southern California. Our lawsuit seeks to hold the administration to the promises it made and ensure that DACA provides protection from deportation for however long the program exists.

The story of one of our lead plaintiffs, Jesús Alonso Arreola Robles , shows what’s at stake.

In February, Jesús  was wrongly arrested by a Customs and Border Protection agent for smuggling immigrants into the country and had his car and cellphone confiscated as well. After spending three weeks in immigration detention, Jesús finally went before an immigration judge who found that he wasn’t involved in smuggling and released him on bond.

Jesús thought his nightmare was over, but it was only beginning. A few days later, the government issued a notice that his DACA had been terminated without any explanation. Without a work permit, Jesús couldn’t make a living, and CBP has refused to return his car and phone. Now he faces the possibility of deportation to Mexico — a country he left when he was one year old.

What happened to Jesús , and many other DACA recipients like him, is unlawful. Under the DACA program, the government must give prior notice to young immigrants of their termination from the program and allow them to contest it. Instead, the government is revoking DACA status without due process, based on unsubstantiated suspicions of criminal activity or minor run-ins with the law, such as traffic offenses, even though these people have not violated the terms of the program and continue to be eligible for it.

No one should lose their ability to live and work in the United States after being merely accused of wrongdoing. Nor should they be stripped of a benefit as important as DACA without basic due process protections. People like Jesús  — who met all the requirements for DACA, came forward courageously and provided their information to the government, paid a fee, and planned their lives in reliance on the program — deserve DACA’s protections for as long as they continue.

But the reality is that DACA has never been enough. The Trump administration’s arbitrary decision to end the program makes it clear that we cannot leave these young people’s fate to whoever happens to be sitting in the White House.

Congress must act immediately to pass a clean Dream Act that would put people like Jesús on a path to citizenship and demand that the president sign it into law. Only the Dream Act will ensure that DACA recipients become full and permanent members of the country they know as their home. Only the Dream Act can protect these Americans from a president who tells them everything will be okay and then callously throws their lives into disarray.

If you or someone you know have had DACA unfairly revoked, please contact the ACLU at DACArevoked@aclu.org.

View comments (39)
Read the Terms of Use

Anonymous

They are crimimals you idiot !

Anonymous

^ They are NOT criminals you idiot!

Anonymous

Very useful info, thanks
the impossible game

Anonymous

And, my friend is still waiting for her Border Crossing Card...nevermind, my other friends who would like to visit the USA..this Jesús guy and others like him are living the dream while my friends can only dream of setting foot here....

These DACA recipients are lucky compared to my friends....who either dream or wait...

Never give your...

Any form of registration with the government is a bad idea. You have nothing to gain by giving away personal information and everything to lose by do doing this. Government is never your friend regardless of what they say. This is exactly why firearms owners do not want any form of registry or registeration...you give them information which can be used against you.

Never give your...

Any form of registration with the government is a bad idea. You have nothing to gain by giving away personal information and everything to lose by do doing this. Government is never your friend regardless of what they say. This is exactly why firearms owners do not want any form of registry or registeration...you give them information which can be used against you.

Anonymous

I find DACA to be a useless bill. All it does is put young immigrants in a endless state of paying taxes but not having citizenship. It doesn't work towards them getting citizenship faster, or at all even. We should instead do something to expedite the process for them...say with proof of schooling grades 1-12. Also those who choose to serve should be granted automatic citizenship.
Immigration is what this country is founded on, but with more recent years do to terror attacks we have to be more cautious. also the minimum wage law are only fueling hate for immigrants from the working class. Because wage laws force a higher wage companies will always go for cheaper labor, and undocumented workers present the cheapest for in country labor.

Dr. Joseph Goebbels

"When is the American government going to quit being an Indian giver?": Chief Sitting Bull circa 1876.

Anonymous

INDIAN GIVER????DACA was never meant to be a road to US Citizenship. It was a temporary fix, to be revoked at any time. These people are here illegally period which is against the law. On top of that if you dig a little deeper, they are not productive citizens but are in and out of jail for crimes they commit against American citizens.They get more benefits than my own children and grandchildren who were born here. And I am sick of my tax dollars paying for it. Round them up and send them all back where they came from and let them take what they have learned in this country back to their own country and help their own people. I hope they enjoyed it while it lasted. They need to quit whining and crying and be thankful and grateful for the time they had while here. They have no constitutional or administrative rights in America. And they just need to swallow it and accept it and make plans to be deported. This kind of stuff that happens IS the screwed up American dream. Welcome to the good ole USA. So I am glad we could educate them on every aspect. Good luck Dreamers. Donald Trump is the best President we have had in a long time. He is showing some tough love for America And it's about time we had someone who did!

Anonymous

^ They are productive and they are not criminals. Take a good look around you. Daca recipients do things more legal than actual US citizens. Stop being so ignorant and close-minded.

Pages

Stay Informed