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Taking A Proactive Stance, Attorney General Brown Steps in to Defend Dreamers and Ensure The Preservation of the DACA Program

The case before the Fifth Circuit stems from a lawsuit initiated by Texas and eight other states seeking the complete termination of the DACA program. In October 2022, the Fifth Circuit upheld the district court's decision that the 2012 executive memorandum establishing DACA was unlawful but referred the case back to the lower court to evaluate the validity of a new regulation outlining the policy




Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown has become part of a coalition comprising 23 Attorneys General, voicing opposition to Texas' ongoing attempts to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the coalition urges a reversal of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas' decision to dismantle the DACA program.




Since its inception in 2012, over 825,000 young immigrants have obtained DACA protections after successfully completing applications and undergoing background checks. Dreamers originate from nearly every corner of the world, with many having spent their entire lives in the United States. DACA has empowered hundreds of thousands to enroll in higher education, establish businesses that contribute to economic growth, serve in the military, and make significant societal contributions as teachers, healthcare professionals, engineers, and entrepreneurs. The vital role played by DACA recipients was particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, where tens of thousands continued to serve as essential workers and frontline healthcare professionals.


DACA's economic contributions extend to an estimated $9.5 billion in federal, state, and local taxes annually from recipients and their households. A complete rollback of DACA is projected to result in a loss of approximately $280 billion in national economic growth over a decade, along with estimated losses of $33.1 billion in Social Security contributions and $7.7 billion in Medicare contributions. Furthermore, DACA recipients contribute significantly to the overall economic health of the nation, with an estimated annual spending power of $25.3 billion, supporting homeownership, small businesses, and job creation.



The case before the Fifth Circuit stems from a lawsuit initiated by Texas and eight other states seeking the complete termination of the DACA program. In October 2022, the Fifth Circuit upheld the district court's decision that the 2012 executive memorandum establishing DACA was unlawful but referred the case back to the lower court to evaluate the validity of a new regulation outlining the policy. In September 2023, the Southern District of Texas once again declared the program unlawful.


The coalition supports the federal government's argument that DACA represents a lawful exercise of Executive Branch authority and does not violate the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The coalition also contends that the district court erred in choosing to abolish DACA entirely rather than eliminating any specific components deemed unlawful.


Additionally, the brief asserts that the district court's decision failed to allow sufficient time for the Department of Homeland Security and Congress to implement any necessary remedial actions. Finally, the brief underscores the numerous ways in which state and local governments benefit from and depend on the DACA program. Attorney General Brown joins counterparts from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin in filing this collective brief.


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