University of California Files Joint Motion to Keep DACA Operational Until Legal Proceedings Conclude

The University of California participated in another legal motion this morning to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which President Donald Trump announced the repeal of in September. Filed along with several other organizations such as the city of San Jose and individual DACA recipients, the joint motion requests that a federal judge order the Trump Administration to continue operating DACA until legal proceedings seeking to reverse the repeal conclude.

In the motion submitted to the U.S. District Court of Northern California, the plaintiffs argue that the federal government did not follow proper procedures, failed to complete the necessary question-and-notification process, and did not provide sufficient justification for rescinding the program. The university itself filed around 20 declarations from students, officials, and faculty across the UC system exhibiting the “harmful” consequences of ending DACA.

DACA is an Obama-era policy established in 2012 that offers certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors eligibility for work permits and deferred action on deportation for a renewable two-year period. As per Trump’s announcement, the program will be terminated on March 5, 2018.

UC President Janet Napolitano, who was instrumental in establishing DACA during her time as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, denounced Trump’s decision to repeal the policy.

“As a result of the termination of the program, the University and its students will lose the vital contributions that DACA recipients have made as students and employees,” Napolitano wrote in a statement released by the UC Office of the President. “The civic life of the school will be diminished, the exchange of ideas will be reduced, teaching and research will be impaired, and diversity of viewpoints and experiences will be reduced.”

This joint motion follows the university’s initial motion on Sept. 8 for injunctive and declaratory relief against the Department of Homeland Security in order to prevent the termination of the immigration policy.

Arguing that the repeal of DACA is unconstitutional, the September lawsuit claimed that the Trump Administration’s decision violated due process and administrative procedures.  

“As a result of Defendants’ actions, the Dreamers face expulsion from the only country that they call home, based on nothing more than unreasoned executive whim,” lawyers from Covington & Burling, LLP wrote in the lawsuit. “The University faces the loss of vital members of its community, students and employees. It is hard to imagine a decision less reasoned, more damaging, or undertaken with less care.”

Oral arguments regarding the university’s case will be heard on Dec. 20 by Judge William Alsup in San Francisco.