Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Equality California Praises Supreme Court Ruling Affirming DACA Recipients Belong Here
Equality California Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur: "The Court's ruling today is an affirmation that Dreamers and DACA recipients — tens of thousands of whom are LGBTQ+ — belong here."
June 18, 2020 at 8:10 am

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June 18, 2020

CONTACT: Joshua Stickney, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (405) 315-4151/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump-Pence Administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program was arbitrary and capricious and that the program, which allows young people who were brought to the United States as children and who go to school or serve in the military to receive work permits and exemptions from deportation, should remain in effect. Chief Justice John Roberts delivered the Court’s 5-4 majority opinion, stating, “[W]e conclude that the Acting Secretary did violate the APA [Administrative Procedure Act], and that the rescission [of DACA] must be vacated.”

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex,” wrote Gorsuch for the Court. “Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”

Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur:

“The Court’s ruling today is an affirmation that Dreamers and DACA recipients — tens of thousands of whom are LGBTQ+ — belong here. They grew up here. They work here, go to school here and have served in our military here. Approximately 27,000 of them are currently on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic — risking their lives to protect ours in hospitals and grocery stores, making deliveries and as first responders.

“While we are pleased with this ruling, our fight does not end here. We know that this administration will continue to attempt to terminate this program. That is why we encourage those who receive DACA protections to continue their journey and we vow to continue our fight for real, meaningful immigration reform legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president.”

On October 4, 2019, Equality California joined 44 civil rights organizations in filling an amici curiae (“friends of the court”) brief, which underscored the ways in which DACA improved the lives of undocumented young people — including those who identify as LGBTQ+ — and empowered them to make substantial investments in themselves, their families and their communities.

Since President Barack Obama first implemented the DACA program in 2012, it has protected eligible undocumented youth and young adults from deportation and has provided them with a renewable work permit for two years. Despite good intentions, DACA is not a pathway to citizenship in any way.

In September 2017, the Trump-Pence Administration rescinded DACA and put hundreds of thousands of young people who live, work and thrive in our communities in danger of deportation. Numerous lawsuits have challenged both the legality of the DACA program itself and that of the Trump-Pence Administration’s rescission of the program over the last seven years, but federal courts have repeatedly upheld the program. Since the Trump-Pence Administration’s initial rescission of the program, successful litigation brought by program participants has allowed DACA recipients to continue to renew their status but denied applications from new eligible individuals. 

NOTE TO MEDIA: Equality California spokespeople, in English and Spanish, are available for interviews and commentary related to today’s Supreme Court decisions. Please contact Joshua Stickney at press@eqca.org or (405) 315-415


Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ+ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ+ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org

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