Action Alert: Supreme Court Sides with DACA Recipients, Providing Relief for Immigrant Youth and Their Families

This decision emphasizes that DACA is right, and that for DACA recipients and their families: home is here.   

Today, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in a 5-4 ruling that said the Trump administration’s reasoning for ending the program was “capricious and arbitrary.”  

In the decision for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote: “We do not decide whether DACA or its rescission are sound policies. We address only whether the agency complied with the procedural requirement that it provide a reasoned explanation for its action.” 

Chief Justice Roberts added that the administration could try again if it provided adequate reasons for shutting down the program.

A joint statement from Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Comunidad Colectiva, the Hispanic Federation, Action NC and Latin American Coalition:  

Today’s decision is a testament to what happens when directly impacted communities demand change. The Supreme Court sided with the American people- who overwhelmingly support the DACA program- and rejected the decision to deport immigrants who are American in every sense except by law.

This decision protects the lives of nearly 700,000 current DACA recipients, including more than 24,000 in North Carolina, and their families from deportation-for now. This decision affirms what we have always known: immigrants make America great. It comes as our country continues to struggle under COVID-19. During this time, DACA recipients and immigrants broadly have played critical roles in supporting our health systems and economy. 

Currently, 29 percent of all physicians, 38 percent of home health aides and 23 percent of retail-store pharmacists are foreign-born. Immigrants also make up a large proportion of essential staff in grocery stores, hospitals, sanitation and transportation. According to the Department of Homeland Security, nearly one-third of DACA recipients work in these essential jobs.
With this decision, DACA recipients and their families can continue to live safely in our community. Nearly 250,000 children in this country have a parent with DACA status. Since the Trump administration rescinded the program in 2017, immigrant youth, their families and allies across the country have been fighting to protect DACA. While this decision gives needed relief for DACA recipients and their families, immigration and deportation threats are far from over. 

Charlotte immigration advocacy groups including the Latin American Coalition, Hispanic Federation, Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy, Comunidad Colectiva, and Action NC call on the Trump administration to respect the decision of the Supreme Court and not try to end the program again. The administration must also instruct U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) not to share information that DACA recipients and their families have voluntarily given to the government with ICE.  

As we celebrate today’s decision, we also acknowledge how much more fighting for change there is still to do. While this decision is a welcome relief for many, there is still much to be done to protect the DACA program and its beneficiaries. One step is for people to make their voice heard by voting in the November election.  

This decision follows weeks of courageous organizing and protests from Black people and allies across the country to demand an end to police brutality, white supremacy and a call to reallocate police resources in ways that strengthen our community safety net. We stand with the immigrant and Black community and commit to fighting for their stability and safety.

Each of our advocacy groups are here to support dreamers and DACAmented individuals during this time. On Thursday, June 18 at 7 p.m., Comunidad Colectiva will hold a Facebook Live with more information about what this decision means and what to expect as we move forward.  This victory is for the youth and their families who are fighting the good fight. Today, the Supreme Court stood with the immigrant community, protecting their right to work and thrive in the place they grew up, the place they call home. 


Our Asks for Next Steps 

  • Demand that USCIS immediately begin accepting new DACA applications and continue DACA renewals, restoring the program to its original state before termination.
     
  • Call on Congress to pass permanent protections and solutions that help these beneficiaries, including extensions of TPS work permits, protections from deportation for immigrants, and benefits in any future stimulus package to address COVID-19.
     
  • Call on state and local leaders to get ICE and CPB out of our communities and sign onto our pledge as well as working to provide free COVID-19 testing, treatment and services for all, regardless of immigration status.
     
  • In solidarity with Black people, we call for the investment in community initiatives that strengthen Black and Brown communities, as well as changing laws and enforcement policies to end the systemic mass incarceration of people of color.
     
  • An immediate suspension of the Public Charge rule

Share this message 

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of upholding the DACA program today, but the fight to protect DACA continues. 

Share this message with your networks and encourage those who need assistance with DACA to contact Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy for more information on what to do next.  

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Supreme Court allows Public Charge rule to go into effect

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily lifted a nationwide court order blocking implementation of the Trump administration’s revised “public charge” rule. The 5-4 decision allows the rule to go into effect while legal challenges play out in lower courts.

This rule creates a discriminatory immigration system that only serves the wealthy. It targets immigrants legally seeking permanent resident status in the U.S., forcing them to choose between family unity and their ability to access basic needs such as food, shelter and health care.

“Public charge” has been a longstanding immigration test administered to immigrants entering the country or seeking permanent residency to determine if they will become primarily dependent on the government for financial support.

For more than 100 years, the U.S. government has recognized that social supports like health care and nutrition help families thrive and remain productive contributors to society. The government has long clarified that immigrant families can seek health and nutrition benefits for eligible families without fear of harming their immigration case.

Today, families no longer have that assurance.

Under the new rule, the definition of “public charge” is drastically broadened to consider whether a person is likely to use public benefits. This broader definition makes it harder for low-income immigrants to legally immigrate to the U.S. through family-based petitions or adjust their immigration status to become legal permanent residents.

While this rule directly affects a small number of people, fear surrounding it has already done considerable harm.

Last year, the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families reported that the U.S. saw its first increase in the uninsured rate for children in more than a decade. The Kaiser Family Foundation has also reported about half of community health centers reported people declining or withdrawing from coverage because of this regulation.

Locally Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy has helped families who fear punishment for using benefits they are legally eligible to receive MORE than the instability created by going without this support.

The rule is a dangerous departure from our country’s proud identity as a nation of immigrants seeking the American Dream’s promise of opportunity earned through persistence and hard work.

Instead, of welcoming the “tired, poor, huddled masses” of the world to our country, this rule allows the wealthy to jump to the front of the line and cut off families who have waited years to reunite.

It punishes low-income people for wanting to legally live in the U.S. It denies vulnerable families the chance to even try to “pull themselves up by the bootstraps.”

Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy serves hardworking low-income immigrant families who deserve a fair shot at the American Dream.

Now that this rule will go into effect, we are certain that many more families will decline critical access to nutrition, healthcare and housing they are eligible to receive, creating more confusion for families who already live in fear and vulnerable to exploitation.

This chilling effect destabilizes families, and it will impact our community for years to come.

Building a strong community means helping families thrive. When families are too afraid to seek assistance to meet their basic needs, our whole community suffers. Family safety and unity should not have to come at the expense of stability.

From the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign:

What we can do RIGHT NOW

This rule is scary for families and communities they live in. It’s important for us to remember that we must fight fear with facts.

Yes, the Supreme Court’s ruling allows the public charge regulation to take effect, but …

  1. This rule may not be in place forever. However, it is in place for now and needs to be considered when making decisions for your family.
  2. The Administration hasn’t said when the rule will take effect. Follow Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy for updates as we learn more from our national partners.
  3. The legal battle over this rule continues in the lower courts.


Fear is the Trump administration’s real weapon. Facts are families’ best defense against it:

  1. Most immigrants who are subject to public charge are not eligible for the programs listed in the rule. 
  2. Get the facts to do what’s best for your family.
  3. Anyone with questions about how this rule will impact their family can contact Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy.

The fight to ensure all families have the right to thrive isn’t over.

  1. This regulation goes against our national identity. We are a nation of immigrants and that’s what makes our country great. Everyone deserves a fair shot at the American Dream, not just the wealthy.
  2. Immigrant families and allies must fight this regulation on different fronts.
    • Get the facts to do what’s best for your family
    • Help the Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign take this fight to Congress
    • Participate in the 2020 Census to ensure a complete and honest count. Urge others to participate.
    • Make sure your state and local government officials understand how this rule hurts our community.