NYU Among Several Universities to Support DACA Students in Brief to Supreme Court

Universities around the country hope to sway the Supreme Court in favor of maintaining DACA with an amicus brief detailing how rescinding DACA would be detrimental to their institutions and the nation.

People speak out in support of DACA in New York City. (Via Wikimedia)

NYU wrote a joint amicus curiae brief with more than a dozen other universities in support of a program for children of undocumented immigrants leading up to a Supreme Court decision on the legality of the program.

The Deferred Action for Children Arrivals program, instituted under former President Barack Obama, protects foreign-born children of undocumented immigrants from deportation. The children have to meet certain temporal requirements to be applicable for the program, including having lived in the U.S. since 2007. 

In 2018, President Donald Trump declared the program illegal, but it has been upheld in lower courts. During the Supreme Court’s 2019-2020 term that started this week, a final decision will be made on the program that allows over 700,000 people to stay in the country who otherwise might be deported.

NYU and 18 other institutions — including Harvard, Yale and Columbia University — joined together in strong opposition of the administration’s attempt to end DACA.

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Their brief, a legal document which allows third parties in legal cases to have their interests considered, defended DACA recipients within their own schools by arguing that an end to the program would force them to abandon their education in an attempt to avoid prosecution.

“If permitted to enter into effect, the memorandum rescinding the DACA program will preclude the remarkable students enrolled at [the universities] from obtaining the full benefit of their time on our campuses,” the brief reads. “It would also undermine [universities’] educational missions by threatening their ability to attract and educate the most talented young people.”

NYU and others argued more broadly that the implications of ending DACA would keep talented individuals from advancing the nation with their academic accomplishments. The brief then goes on to highlight specific examples of students who credit their tremendous academic strengths to being protected from deportation via the DACA program.

“[E]nding DACA would force future scholars, innovators and leaders to choose between withdrawing to the margins of our society and national economy or returning to countries that they have never called home,” the brief reads. “Whatever they choose, their gifts and education will be lost to this nation.” 

This brief continues the trend of U.S. universities speaking out in defense of the DACA program. Following NYU’s collaboration with other private institutions, 165 public and private U.S. colleges filed a brief in support of DACA. 

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Nov. 12. 

Email Miliana Bocher at [email protected].

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