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Politics

Over 100 Members of Congress Demand USCIS Accept New DACA Applications

WASHINGTON, DC – On July 1, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) joined 110 House Democrats and Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) to demand that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) immediately begin accepting new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

In a letter to Acting DHS Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, Members of Congress, including Greek-American Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1), demanded USCIS provide clear guidance and immediately begin accepting new DACA applications.

“We should not need to tell you that under our Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court, not the Administration, determines whether the rescission of DACA was lawful,” the Members wrote. “USCIS and the Administration must faithfully administer our nation’s immigration laws by providing clear guidance implementing the Court’s order.”

Dear Mr. Cuccinelli, 

We are writing to urge U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediately begin accepting new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

On June 18, 2020, in an opinion authored by Chief Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration’s attempted rescission of DACA was arbitrary and capricious, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. This conclusion rests on the well-settled principle of administrative law that “[a]n agency must defend its actions based on the reasons it gave when it acted,” a principle that the Department of Homeland Security violated in its haste to deport hundreds of thousands of Dreamers.

We were disturbed to see that the USCIS website includes a statement that the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision “has no basis in law.” As noted above, the Court correctly held that the Trump administration violated fundamental tenets of administrative law in its eagerness to end DACA. We should not need to tell you that under our Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court, not the Administration, determines whether the rescission of DACA was lawful. USCIS and the Administration must faithfully administer our nation’s immigration laws by providing clear guidance implementing the Court’s order. 

The Supreme Court’s decision was also a moral victory for the hundreds of thousands of Dreamers across our country, for their families and communities, and for our core values as a nation of immigrants. We were extremely disappointed to see Administration officials ignore their mandate and use USCIS’s public platform to make a political attack undermining the rule of law and Dreamers. 

We ask that you not only remove the statement, but also provide clear guidance to the public and USCIS employees that you will immediately begin accepting new DACA applications and will resume accepting and adjudicating applications for advance parole for DACA recipients.

The full text of the letter is available online: https://chc.house.gov/sites/congressionalhispaniccaucus.house.gov/files/7.1.20%20-%20Letter%20USCIC%20New%20DACA%20applications.pdf

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