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Mintz Files Amicus Brief Urging the U.S. Supreme Court to Safeguard LGBTQ Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander DACA Beneficiaries

Mintz, in partnership with the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)—a network of Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) LGBTQ organizations—has filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in DHS v. Regents of the University of California.

In September 2017, President Trump rescinded DACA, which protects eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation. In DHS v. Regents of the University of California, the legality of the President’s decision to phase-out DACA will be challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court.

As stated in the amicus brief filed by Mintz and NQAPIA, there are tens of thousands of individuals who identify as LGBTQ and received protection under DACA, many of whom were born in API nations. Without the protection afforded by DACA, those children, many of whom have now grown to be young adults who have only ever known the United States as home, will be subject to removal proceedings to their countries of birth.

Moreover, if DACA is rescinded, many LGBTQ API DACA beneficiaries are almost certain to face harassment, discrimination, criminal prosecution, violence and even death by virtue of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

“Trump’s cancellation of DACA could result in more than just a deportation, but imprisonment or a death sentence,” said Glenn D. Magpantay, NQAPIA Executive Director. “Talented and hard-working DACA young people are the ones who are truly making America great. Again the President cuts back on the American dream and contributors to our economy.” 

“It is imperative that we safeguard the futures of LGBTQ API DACA beneficiaries in the United States. These individuals make valuable contributions to our society, and may face irreparable harm in returning to their home countries,” said Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee Susan M. Finegan, who served as Counsel of Record.

Notably, numerous NQAPIA member groups and ally LGBTQ organizations are deeply troubled by the Trump Administration’s attempt to rescind DACA, and have joined the brief as amici curiae.

The Mintz team that drafted and filed the brief, and served as counsel for the amici curiae, included Ms. Finegan and Member Meredith M. Leary, Special Counsel Angel Feng, and Associates Kaitlyn Anne Crowe, Geoffrey A. Friedman, Rithika Kulathila and Marguerite McConihe.

The full amicus brief is available here.

Learn more about Mintz’s pro bono efforts here.

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