For Immediate Release:
December 21, 2017
PARTNERSHIP FOR EDUCATIONAL JUSTICE FIGHTS FOR DREAMERS
New York, NY – Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ) today submitted an amicus brief in support of the Plaintiffs that filed lawsuits in Brooklyn, New York federal court fighting against President Trump’s rescission of the DACA program. PEJ partnered with four other groups in the 50CAN network – including DelawareCAN: The Delaware Campaign for Achievement Now; HawaiiKidsCAN; NewMexicoKidsCAN; and Virginia Excels – to submit a brief detailing the irreparable educational harms that will be experienced by students. This brief presents unique information and perspective to the court beyond what has been provided by the lawyers for the parties, providing critical perspective for the court’s understanding of what is at stake for students. The law firm Cooley LLP provided pro bono representation for this amicus brief filing.
DACA has allowed undocumented young people to take part in many rites of passage, such as obtaining a driver’s license, opening a bank account, working legally and securing an internship, and receiving financial aid – which all position students to pursue long term educational and career goals. Critically, DACA has also eliminated the daily fear of arrest and deportation among DACA grantees and their family members, which has allowed students to enjoy better mental health, allowing them to focus on their studies rather than their worries and anxiety. If DACA is rescinded, these students will be stripped of the resources that have enabled them to succeed academically in recent years.
“When DACA was implemented in 2012, the program rapidly expanded undocumented students’ future opportunities, incentivizing them to work harder, complete high school, and gain admission to colleges and universities. Dreamers are hard-working, driven young people who deserve the opportunity to realize the American dream. The heartless decision to punish them is misguided and will only make our nation weaker. As an organization founded to fight for educational justice, we could not sit idly by while hundreds of thousands of students were denied the opportunity of an education, which is a right that must be made available to all students on equal terms,” said Alissa Bernstein, Executive Director of Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ).
PEJ’s full amicus brief can be found here.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy created by President Barack Obama to help protect certain undocumented young people who came to the United States as children. After the Trump Administration announced that it would be phasing out the program, a group of seventeen state attorneys general filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn, New York federal court to stop the rescission from taking effect. If successful, the lawsuit will preserve the rights of the approximately 800,000 DACA grantees across the county who are covered by the program, and have been able to live, study and work in the United States without fear of arrest or deportation.
To immediately stop the Trump administration’s rescission of DACA, on December 15, 2017 the Plaintiff States filed a request for the court to issue a preliminary injunction, which asks the judge to enter an order prohibiting the rescission of DACA from going into effect even before the lawsuit reaches a final resolution. In support of their request for a preliminary injunction, various groups are filing amicus briefs with the court. The court is scheduled to hear oral argument on this request from both sides on January 18, 2018 at the Brooklyn, New York federal courthouse.
About Partnership for Educational Justice (PEJ)
PEJ pursues educational equity through legal action that empowers families and communities to improve the quality of public schools. PEJ utilizes a variety of legal actions to achieve its mission, including pursuing impact litigation, amicus brief filings, Freedom of Information Act requests, and other law-related avenues that seek to achieve meaningful reforms of education laws or policies that fail to prioritize students’ rights. PEJ is an affiliate of the national education nonprofit 50CAN: 50 State Campaign for Achievement Now, which advocates at the local level for a high-quality education for all kids, regardless of their address.