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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (and related cases) (2017) Case No. 18-587 – U.S. Supreme Court Update
Member(s) Involved: On behalf of all California school districts and county offices of education
Current status and/or outcome:
On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that the Trump administration may not immediately proceed with its plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. While the decision is a significant victory for DACA recipients and K-12 schools, the decision was based on narrow administrative grounds and did not determine the legitimacy of the DACA program, thus leaving the door open to future efforts by an administration to end DACA.
Importance of statewide issue:
Public schools in California are obligated to educate any and all students who enroll, regardless of immigration status. It has been reported that the uncertainty over DACA has created a “chilling effect” and discouraged some undocumented students from attending schools. Diminished attendance jeopardizes the ability of schools to prepare all students for the demands of the 21st century and success in college, career, and civic life. Additionally, ending DACA would exacerbate teacher shortages throughout the state, and would negatively affect the educational opportunities of students throughout California.
Summary of the case:
Four lawsuits challenging the rescission of DACA have proceeded together through the Northern District of California. The DACA program was implemented in 2012 and offered work authorization and a renewable two-year reprieve from deportation to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and met specific eligibility requirements. The federal administration announced in September 2017 that it will end the DACA program. At the time of filing, there were approximately 222,795 DACA recipients in California, more than a quarter of the program’s total. According to the Migration Policy Institute, approximately 5,000 teachers in California were DACA recipients. CSBA and the ELA were asked to sign onto an amicus brief in the consolidated DACA lawsuits identifying the challenges the rescission of DACA would create for students, schools, and governing boards in California.

On Nov. 1, 2017, an amicus brief was filed on behalf of CSBA along with NEA, ACSA, CTA, Berkeley USD, Moreno Valley USD, San Diego USD, West Contra Costa USD, Los Angeles County Board of Education, Los Angeles USD, Oakland USD, Sacramento City USD and other associations. In January 2018, the district court issued an injunction blocking the implementation of the decision to rescind DACA. CSBA/ELA joined an amicus brief filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on March 20, 2018. On Nov. 8, 2018, the Ninth Circuit upheld a federal district court’s order requiring the government to keep the DACA program in place.