Attorney General Brown Takes Action to Protect Dreamers

News Release From Maryland Attorney General’s Office

BALTIMORE, MD – Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown today joined a multistate coalition of 23 Attorneys General opposing Texas’ ongoing effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In an amicus brief filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the coalition urges the court to reverse the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas’ decision to abolish the DACA program.  

“The DACA program has allowed undocumented immigrants, who only know the United States as their home, to live, study, and work across our country free from the fear of being forcibly separated from their families and communities,” said Attorney General Brown. “I will continue to support this program that provides opportunities for DREAMERS to grow and become productive and valued members of our communities and economy.”   

Since 2012, more than 825,000 young immigrants have been granted DACA protections after completing applications and passing a background check. DACA recipients, known as Dreamers, come from almost every country in the world, but many have never known any home other than the United States. The program has enabled hundreds of thousands of grantees to enroll in colleges and universities; start businesses that help improve our economy; serve in the military; and give back to our communities as teachers, medical professionals, engineers, and entrepreneurs. These contributions became even more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic as tens of thousands of DACA recipients continued to serve their communities as essential workers and frontline healthcare professionals.  


DACA plays a vital role in supporting our economies at the national, state, and local level. DACA recipients and their households are estimated to contribute approximately $9.5 billion in federal, state, and local taxes each year. A full rollback of DACA is projected to result in a loss of about $280 billion in national economic growth over the course of a decade. It would also lead to an estimated loss of $33.1 billion in Social Security contributions and $7.7 billion in Medicare contributions – funds that ensure the financial health of these national programs. In addition, the spending power of DACA recipients – estimated at $25.3 billion annually – contributes substantially to the overall economic health of the nation. DACA recipients own homes, make mortgage payments, own small businesses, and help support the creation of new jobs.  


The case before the Fifth Circuit is a result of a lawsuit brought by Texas and eight other states seeking to end the DACA program entirely. In October 2022, the Fifth Circuit upheld a decision from the district court finding that the 2012 executive memorandum creating the DACA program was unlawful but sent the case back to the lower court to consider the validity of a new regulation establishing the policy. In September 2023, the Southern District of Texas again declared the program unlawful. 


The coalition supports the federal government’s argument that DACA is a lawful exercise of Executive Branch authority and does not violate the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The coalition also argues that the district court erred in deciding to abolish DACA in its entirety rather than removing any portions it deemed unlawful. In addition, the brief states that the district court’s decision failed to give the Department of Homeland Security, which oversaw the program, and Congress enough time to implement any remedial action necessary to address the court’s legal conclusions. Finally, the brief notes the numerous ways in which state and local governments benefit from and rely on the DACA program. 


In filing today’s brief, Attorney General Brown joins the Attorneys General of 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.