Rice U. expert available for comment as Supreme Court weighs DACA cases


Amy McCaig

Rice U. expert available for comment as Supreme Court weighs DACA cases

HOUSTON – (Oct. 28, 2019) – One of the most heavily debated issues of our time lands in the nation’s highest court next month when the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on three cases stemming from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.


Tony Payan, the Françoise and Edward Djerejian Fellow for Mexico Studies and director of the Center for the United States and Mexico at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, is available to comment on the legal battles and upcoming oral arguments on the legality of the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to end the program.

“On Nov. 12, 2019, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on three consolidated cases: McAleenan v. Batalla Vidal, Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, and Trump v. NAACP,” Payan said. “The Supreme Court will determine the fate of nearly 700,000 young adults whose uncertain future hangs in the balance.”

Payan said more than 109,000 DACA recipients live in Texas — trailing only California — making the decision particularly important for the Lone Star State. He also noted that the high court’s decision will also come in the midst of the 2020 presidential campaign, when immigration will weigh heavily on voters’ minds as they head to the polls.

“The impact of terminating DACA would produce tangible damage on hundreds of thousands of individuals and their families, including their U.S.-born children, as it will hurt their ability to seek work authorization, schooling and labor market outcomes, harm employers who hire DACA recipients and would deeply impact the economic contributions and tax revenue they bring to the American economy,” he said.

While the Supreme Court will decide whether the Trump administration unlawfully ended DACA, Payan said a permanent solution must ultimately come from Congress.

“Congress needs to create a pathway to permanent resident status for DACA recipients, as proposed in the American Dream and Promise Act, passed by the House on June 4, 2019,” Payan concluded.

A decision from the Supreme Court is expected no later than June 2020.

To interview Payan, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist at Rice, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality high-definition and standard-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7. Rice also has a university backdrop, 1080p webcam, light kit and wireless mic for Skype interviews.


This news release can be found online at news.rice.edu.

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Related materials:

Tony Payan bio: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/tony-payan/

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 4 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.