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Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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February 09, 2024

Raoul, Coalition Urge Appeals Court to Reverse Lower Court Decision Ending DACA

 Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined a multistate coalition of 23 attorneys general opposing Texas’ ongoing effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

In the amicus brief filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, Raoul and the coalition urge the court to reverse the lower court’s decision that the DACA program is not authorized by law. The DACA program has allowed recipients to live, study and work across the United States free from the fear of being forcibly separated from their families and communities. 

“DACA reflects our values as a nation and inspires young people brought to this country for a better life to make invaluable contributions to our schools, workplaces and communities,” Raoul said. “I will continue to advocate for the existence of the DACA program and to give childhood arrivals the chance to get ahead.” 

Since 2012, more than 825,000 young immigrants have been granted DACA protections after completing applications and passing a background check. DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, have enrolled in colleges and universities, started businesses that help improve the economy, served in the military, and given back to communities as teachers, medical professionals, engineers and entrepreneurs. 

The case before the 5th Circuit is the latest stage of a lawsuit brought by Texas and eight other states seeking to end the DACA program entirely. In October 2022, the 5th Circuit upheld a decision by the district court finding that the 2012 executive memorandum creating the DACA program was unlawful but sent the case back to the lower court to consider the validity of a new regulation codifying the policy. In September 2023, the district court again declared the program unlawful. 

Raoul and the coalition support the federal government’s argument that DACA is a lawful exercise of Executive Branch authority and does not violate the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The coalition also argues that the district court erred in deciding to vacate DACA in its entirety rather than severing any portions deemed unlawful. Additionally, the amicus brief states that the district court’s decision failed to give DHS and Congress enough time to implement any remedial action necessary to address the court’s legal conclusions. Finally, Raoul and the coalition note the numerous ways in which state and local governments benefit from and rely on the existence of the DACA program. 

Joining Raoul in filing the brief are attorneys general from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.