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Covington Secures Injunction of DACA Rescission

January 9, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO—Covington secured a victory on behalf of its clients the University of California and UC President Janet Napolitano when Northern District of California Judge William Alsup issued a nationwide injunction blocking the federal government’s effort to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).

On September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was rescinding DACA, which provides nearly 800,000 individuals who were brought to the United States as children the opportunity to live and work legally in this country. Covington filed suit on behalf of its clients, alleging that the decision to rescind DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it was arbitrary and capricious and did not comply with the APA’s procedural requirements. Six individual DACA recipients, as well as the states of California, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, the City of San Jose, the County of Santa Clara, and the Service Employees International Union Local 521 also filed suit and were joined with the University of California action. Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction and the government moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction and that plaintiffs had failed to state a claim for relief.

After briefing and a hearing argued by Covington’s Jeffrey Davidson, yesterday the court denied the government’s motion to dismiss and granted plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary relief, ordering the government to reinstate DACA while the litigation proceeds.

“We were honored that the University of California and President Napolitano entrusted Covington with this important case, and we are deeply gratified by the court’s preliminary injunction ruling, which protects hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients while this case continues,” said Covington’s Vice Chair Lanny Breuer.

Covington’s Jeffrey Davidson added that the court’s decision “recognizes the Administration’s flawed approach to the rescission of DACA. Congressional action is still needed to provide a permanent solution, but in the meantime, this decision will protect the nearly 800,000 DACA recipients against deportation or losing their jobs.”

The Covington team included partners Lanny Breuer, Mark Lynch, Jeffrey Davidson, and Alex Berengaut, special counsel Mónica Ramírez Almadani, and associate Megan Crowley.

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