Former Cabinet Secretaries and National Security Veterans Urge SCOTUS to Protect DACA

WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 8, 2019 –  More than 50 of the country’s most distinguished national security experts — including former Cabinet Secretaries who served Presidents of both parties — have joined a Supreme Court amicus brief in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The Court on November 12 will hear arguments regarding the Trump administration’s efforts to rescind the program, which could subject approximately 700,00 young people to deportation.

The brief — whose signatories include former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and John Kerry, former Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former CIA Directors Michael Hayden and John Brennan, and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice — describes the grave implications for U.S. national security and foreign policy if DACA were to be terminated.

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The signatories noted that the rescission of DACA would undermine military readiness, contribute to instability in our own hemisphere, and divert precious national security and law enforcement resources away from the real threats we face — all while contravening core American values.

As the brief states, “Deporting [DACA recipients] to places that are unsafe, unfamiliar, and unable to support them would gravely harm these individuals and signal a deep contempt for human rights. [..] And it would deeply tarnish our image throughout the world as a country of promise and tolerance, threatening our influence as a global leader on human rights issues, and eroding our capacity to hold other governments accountable to their human rights obligations.”

The brief also takes on the administration’s false claim that DACA has contributed to the number of illegal border-crossings in recent years, arguing that the claim not only “lacks an evidentiary basis, but is at odds with the overwhelming weight of available evidence.” The brief goes on to argue that the Trump administration’s contention further “ignores the many ways in which DACA rescission in fact would do grave harm to U.S. security and foreign policy concerns.”

In addition to the former Cabinet-level officials, the brief bears the signature of veterans of the Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Council, the Intelligence Community, the Department of Justice, and the Department of State, among other Departments and Agencies. It includes senior officials from every administration since that of President Ronald Reagan.

Yale Law School’s Peter Gruber Rule of Law Clinic helped to prepare the amicus brief, which is available here.

www.nationalsecurityaction.org