Court Rules In Favor of DACA Recipient in Discrimination Case
In a first of its kind DACA discrimination case, a New York court ruled in favor of Ruben Juarez, who sued Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc. when his employment application was rejected because of his DACA status.
DACA recipients are granted social security numbers and Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) which allow them to work legally in the US. When applying for a job with Northwestern Mutual, Juarez spoke with a company representative who said his DACA status was sufficient for employment at the company; however, he later received notice that he could not be hired because he is neither a citizen nor a green card holder. Juarez sued the company for violating 42 U.S. code § 1981, which prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of race or alienage.
The insurance company moved to dismiss Juarez’s complaint of discrimination, arguing that because they hire individuals with lawful permanent residence (LPR) status – a designation that does not grant US citizenship – they cannot be charged with discriminating on the basis of citizenship. The court ruled in favor of Juarez, as Section 1981 does not specify that all members of a protected class must be discriminated against for the plaintiff to have a valid claim.
Supreme Court Rejects Arizona’s Request to Continue Denying DREAMer Driver’s Licenses
The Supreme Court ruled that DACA recipients may apply for driver’s licenses while Arizona Dream Act Coalition v. Brewer undergoes the appeals process.
The ADAC filed a suit against Arizona governor Jan Brewer for a discriminatory policy that does not allow DACA recipients, who are eligible to live and work legally in the US, to apply for state driver’s licenses. On the day that the DACA program originally went into effect, Brewer issued an executive order that rendered Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) granted to DACA recipients insufficient as proof for legal presence when applying for a state driver’s license.
Earlier this year the Ninth Circuit found the policy unconstitutional, but the state of Arizona seeks to appeal the decision. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to allow a preliminary injunction, DACA recipients in Arizona may now apply for driver’s licenses while the case processes through the courts.
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