ACLU Files Motion on Behalf of Young Immigrant to Restore DACA Status
Jesús Arreola Is a Lead Plaintiff in Class Action Lawsuit Seeking to Protect Wrongfully Targeted Immigrant Youth
NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California filed a preliminary injunction motion on behalf of Jesús Alonso Arreola Robles today, asking a federal court in California to restore his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals grant after federal immigration authorities unlawfully revoked it. The DACA program provides young immigrants who were brought to the country as children with permission to live and work in the United States.
Arreola is one of the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed earlier this month by the ACLU and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California on behalf of young immigrants challenging the Trump administration’s unlawful decision to terminate their DACA grants. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Arreola and others like him as well as the Inland Empire-Immigrant Youth Collective (IEIYC), an organization that advocates on behalf of immigrant youth. IEIYC & Arreola v. Duke alleges that the Department of Homeland Security has a practice of unlawfully and arbitrarily revoking DACA grants and work authorizations based on unproven allegations or low-level offenses, such as traffic violations that do not disqualify the individual from the program. DHS terminates DACA in these cases without any advance notice, any chance to fight the government’s actions, or any opportunity to reinstate DACA when an individual is cleared of any allegations. The lawsuit says that these revocation practices violate the federal Administrative Procedures Act and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.
Jesús Alonso Arreola Robles is a 23-year-old resident of the Los Angeles area who has lived in the U.S. since age one. DHS granted him DACA in 2012, 2014, and 2016. At the time that DHS terminated his DACA, Arreola was working two jobs to help support his family — as a cook at the famed Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood and as a driver for Uber and Lyft. Through his earnings, Arreola helped support his parents, both of whom are lawful permanent residents, and his three U.S. citizen sisters — one of whom has significant disabilities.
Despite Arreola’s lack of any criminal history and his valid DACA grant, federal immigration authorities arrested him in February 2017 while he was driving a customer. Authorities falsely alleged that he was trying to help smuggle the customer’s relatives into the United States and placed him in deportation proceedings. Even though an immigration judge promptly rejected the smuggling allegation, and he was never charged with any crime, DHS revoked his DACA and with it, his ability to work and support his family.
“My girlfriend and I are expecting our first child, a boy, on Christmas Day. I want to be here to raise him,” said Arreola. “I grew up taking care of my sister, Lupe. I want to keep holding her hand when she’s walking down the street. I know L.A. like the back of my hand — the lookout spot on Mulholland Drive, the beach in Malibu, the best Korean barbeque — and I want to continue the life I’ve lived here since I was a baby. I don’t want an unfounded accusation to take everything I love away from me.”
“Jesús Arreola, like so many others, is a young immigrant who was working hard and contributing to his family and his community when the Trump administration arbitrarily stripped him of his DACA,” said ACLU attorney Michael Tan. “Our government has placed immigrant youth like Jesús directly at risk both by ending the DACA program and by terminating their individual DACA grants for no reason. We are fighting to get Jesús’s DACA back and we call on Congress to pass the Dream Act to provide more permanent protection for Jesús and hundreds of thousands of other young immigrants whose lives and futures are at risk under this administration.”
If you or someone you know has had a DACA grant revoked, please contact the ACLU at DACArevoked@aclu.org.
More information about the preliminary injunction filed today on behalf of Arreola is available here:
A video about Arreola’s story is available here:
A blog post by Arreola is here:
For more information about the class action lawsuit is available online here:
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