Murphy cheers U.S. Supreme Court ruling that protects ‘Dreamers’

Gov. Phil Murphy cheered the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — better known as DACA — was unlawful.

Gov. Phil Murphy.

“We applaud the court’s ruling to protect the more than 16,000 Dreamers who call New Jersey home, and who are among the more than 800,000 Dreamers across our country who are just as American as any child born here,” Murphy said. “As our state continues to face unprecedented challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Dreamers are directly contributing to our communities — as students, entrepreneurs, taxpayers, employees, job creators and front-line workers. We celebrate their contributions and remain committed to supporting them and their families.”

Princeton University played a large role in the case. It filed one of the first challenges and was a co-plaintiff, along with Microsoft and Maria Perales Sanchez, a recent Princeton graduate.

The DACA program permits undocumented students who arrived in the country as children to obtain protection from deportation, allowing them to continue their studies or work in the United States.

Princeton President Chris Eisgruber said the university filed its suit because its success as a world-class teaching and research university — one routinely honored as the best in the country — depends on its ability to attract and support talented students from all backgrounds.

Princeton University President Chris Eisgruber.

“Today’s carefully reasoned Supreme Court decision rightly protects DACA beneficiaries against arbitrary agency action,” Eisgruber said in a statement. “We welcome that decision, but we also know that the Dreamers’ future, and our own future, will depend on legislation that gives them a clear path to citizenship. Princeton will continue to advocate on behalf of DACA beneficiaries and the many other immigrants whose talent, hard work and creativity contribute so vitally to this university and to our country.”

Princeton has been on of the leading voices among higher education on immigration issues. Eisgruber said the school will continue to urge Congress to enact a legislative solution that provides permanent legal protections for the full population of Dreamers.

Murphy said the state also will continue its fight on the issue.

“Across the past two years, we have taken significant steps to empower our immigrant communities and ensure their place in a stronger, fairer and more inclusive New Jersey,” he said. “We have removed barriers to financial aid that held Dreamers back from pursuing a higher education, and we are working on implementing driver’s licenses for all residents regardless of immigration status.

“Through our Office of New Americans in the New Jersey Department of Human Services, we will continue providing information and resources to Dreamers and their families regarding DACA renewals and work permits, among other services.”

Murphy called on federal officials in U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to extend DACA renewals and work permits. He also called on the Trump administration to open up the process to accept new DACA applications — and urged Congress to work together on a permanent solution and a path to citizenship for all Dreamers and their families.