80 Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Leaders: “DACA helps us keep communities safe”

October 3, 2019

Georgetown Law’s ICAP Co-authors Amicus Brief that Argues Ending DACA Threatens Public Safety

WASHINGTON – Today, 80 sitting prosecutors and law enforcement leaders in jurisdictions representing 24 states and the District of Columbia filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court defending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The brief, co-authored by Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, underscores how DACA promotes public safety by encouraging cooperation between immigrants and law enforcement officials and argues that rescinding the program will erode public trust.

“Since DACA was introduced, officers across the country have seen immigrants step out of the shadows and work cooperatively with police and prosecutors, helping law enforcement to build safer and stronger communities,” said Jerry Clayton, Washtenaw County, Michigan Sheriff and a signatory to the brief. “Ending DACA would destroy the trust we have been building with communities for years, meaning a loss of lines of communication, witnesses to crimes, and critical information needed to promote public safety.”

“Trust is built from relationships with the community, which are predicated on interactions that are grounded in understanding and a sense of mutual respect and safety,” said Brian Middleton, District Attorney for Fort Bend County, Texas and a signatory to the brief. “Ending DACA is a senseless act that would needlessly return us to an era where we are forced to rely on law enforcement methods we know do not work, thereby eroding the safety of the public we have been entrusted to protect.”

“DACA stands as a protective shield for individuals who have lived, worked, studied and added to the rich and diverse fabric of our communities as continuous residents of the United States for over a decade,” said Miriam Aroni Krinsky, Executive Director of Fair and Just Prosecution and a signatory to the brief. “A growing number of prosecutors and law enforcement leaders recognize how much immigrants contribute to our communities and understands that an end to DACA would put millions of individuals at risk of deportation to countries they have never known, cruelly tear apart families, and threaten public trust and cooperation between immigrant communities and law enforcement, imperiling public safety.”

The Trump Administration began efforts to unwind the DACA program in September 2017, and an injunction preventing the termination of the program has been in place since January 9, 2018, which the Department of Justice has repeatedly challenged, including in this case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This case has substantial implications for the larger national debate on immigration policy and its broader effects on public safety,” said Mary B. McCord, Legal Director at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection and a former federal prosecutor for over 20 years. “As this brief describes, immigrants have been critical partners in reporting crimes, appearing as witnesses, and protecting their communities.”

Sixty-two current prosecutors and law enforcement leaders from diverse jurisdictions across the country were among the 80 signatories on the brief, including: District Attorneys Diana Becton (Contra Costa County, CA), John Creuzot (Dallas County, TX), Satana Deberry (Durham County, NC), Michael Dougherty (20th Judicial District, CO), Mark Dupree (Wyandotte County, KS), George Gascón (City and County of San Francisco, CA), Sim Gill (Salt Lake County, UT), Joe Gonzales (Bexar County, TX), Eric Gonzalez (Kings County, NY), Mark Gonzalez (Nueces County, TX), Andrea Harrington (Berkshire County, MA), John Hummel (Deschutes County, OR), Lawrence Krasner (Philadelphia, PA), Beth McCann (2nd Judicial District, CO), Brian Middleton (Fort Bend County, TX), Rachael Rollins (Suffolk County, MA), Marian Ryan (Middlesex County, MA), David Sullivan (Northwestern District, MA), Raúl Torrez (Bernalillo County, NM) and Cyrus Vance (New York County, NY); Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner (City of St. Louis, MO); City Attorney Peter Holmes (Seattle, WA); Commonwealth’s Attorney Joseph Platania (Charlottesville, VA); County Attorney John Choi (Ramsey County, MN); Prosecuting Attorneys Wesley Bell (St. Louis County, MO), Daniel Satterberg (King County, WA) and Carol Siemon (Ingham County, MI); State Attorney Andrew Warren (13th Judicial Circuit, FL); State’s Attorneys Sarah George (Chittenden County, VT) and Marilyn Mosby (Baltimore City, MD); Police Chiefs Art Acevedo (Houston, TX), Ramon Batista (Mesa, AZ), Carmen Best (Seattle, WA), Christopher Blue, (Chapel Hill, NC), William Bones (Boise, ID), Mike Brown (Salt Lake City, UT), Maggie Deboard (Herndon, VA), Ronald Haddad (Dearborn, MI), Andy Harvey (Palestine, TX), Dwight Henninger (Vail, CO), Wayne Jerman (Cedar Rapids, IA), Craig Kingsbury (Twin Falls, ID), Brian Kyes (Chelsea, MA), Chris Magnus (Tucson, AZ), Sylvia Moir (Tempe, AZ), Peter Newsham (Washington, D.C.), Abdul Pridgen (Seaside, CA), Orlando Rolón (Orlando, FL), Steve Stahl (Maricopa, AZ) and Michael Tupper (Marshalltown, IA); Sheriffs Jerry Clayton (Washtenaw County, MI), Tony Estrada (Santa Cruz County, AZ), Paul Fitzgerald (Story County, IA), Sally Hernandez (Travis County, TX), Mitzi Johanknecht (King County, WA), David Mahoney (Dane County, WI), Joseph Pelle (Boulder County, CO) and Lonny Pulkrabek (Johnson County, IA); Commissioners Michael Harrison (Baltimore, MD) and Steven Pare (Providence, RI); and Director of Public Safety Mark Prosser (Storm Lake, IA).

The amicus brief was authored by Georgetown Law’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection in conjunction with the Chicago law firm of Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym, Ltd. Fair and Just Prosecution, a national network of elected prosecutors committed to change and innovation, coordinated the amicus effort.

Read the amicus brief here.