LA County Board of Supervisors Consider Motions to Defend DACA - NBC Southern California

LA County Board of Supervisors Consider Motions to Defend DACA

At least 15 states and the District of Columbia have taken legal action against the plan announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week to rescind DACA

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    LA County Board of Supervisors Consider Motions to Defend DACA

    The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to consider two motions today to fight back against the Trump administration's decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

    Supervisor Hilda Solis has championed a one-year restriction on county government travel to nine states that threatened legal action to end the program.

    "For many years, the DACA program has brought hope and security for thousands of young DREAMers throughout the nation. Our immigrant communities work day in and day out to succeed in this country. Programs like DACA help our young immigrants provide support to their parents and inspire them to believe in the 'American Dream,'" Solis said when she previewed her proposal last week.

    Solis named Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia as targets of the proposed travel restriction, which would not apply in the case of emergency assistance for disaster relief or critical law enforcement work.

    Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

    Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas plans to urge his colleagues to ask county lawyers to file "friend of the court" briefs in support of several states suing the Trump administration in opposition to the phase-out.

    "For many DREAMers, the U.S. is the only country they have ever known," Ridley-Thomas said in a statement. "Ending DACA will result in uncertainty and turmoil, not only for the nation's 800,00 DREAMers, but also for our entire community.''

    At least 15 states and the District of Columbia have taken legal action against the plan announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week to rescind DACA. University of California President Janet Napolitano, who signed the policy during her time as secretary of Homeland Security, has also filed suit.

    Fighting back against the administration's contention that immigrants living in the country illegally are responsible for taking jobs away from legal residents, Solis has focused on the economic benefits that would be lost if DACA recipients left the country. She pegged their contribution to the nation's gross domestic product -- a measure of economic productivity -- at $460 billion.

    Her motion on the travel restriction also calls on Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution and for state officials to do whatever they can to protect DACA recipients. It directs the county Office of Immigrant Affairs to help existing DACA recipients renew their status by Oct. 5.

    Trump has also called on Congress to act, saying he had no choice but to rescind the 2012 executive order on DACA by then-President Barack Obama.

    "President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, social security numbers and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36," Trump said in a statement last week, calling the move "executive amnesty" and an "end-run around Congress...violating the core tenets that sustain our Republic."

    Supervisor Kathryn Barger, the only Republican on the non-partisan board, echoed some of that sentiment, repeating 2012 comments by Obama calling the measure a "stopgap." She told colleagues that she heard Sessions' announcement as a challenge to Congress.

    Immigration policy "has been a priority for over 15 years," Barger said last week. "As a Republican sitting on the Board of Supervisors, I, for one, believe that it's time to do something."

    Barger said she supports the BRIDGE Act proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Dick Durbin D-Illinois, which is aimed at protecting DACA immigrants.

    The administration has set a phased rollback of DACA.

    "Permits will not begin to expire for another six months, and will remain active for up to 24 months," Trump said in his statement. "Thus, in effect, I am not going to just cut DACA off, but rather provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act."

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