In the midst of contention around the country toward President Barack Obama’s executive action protecting undocumented immigrants, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to support his deferred action extension plan in Los Angeles County.
The Obama administration issued an executive action in November 2014 to defer deportation for nearly half-million undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles County through the implementation of two programs: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).
The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 for the formation of a deferred action task force that would prepare the county for the two programs through county departments, including the registrar-recorder/county clerk, consumer and business affairs, parks and recreation, community and senior services, health services, public library, the district attorney’s consumer fraud division and assessor.
The taskforce will have 30 days to report back to the board on its findings. Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, 3rd District, and Hilda Solis, 1st District, wrote the motion.
The deferred action program for undocumented immigrants includes protection from being deported and the ability to apply for employment authorization. Many students have already benefited from the program, which had criteria that DACA recipients be enrolled in school. The DAPA program protects undocumented immigrant parents of children who were born in the U.S. or who are lawful residents. However, parents of DACA recipients do not quality for DAPA protection.
“I support the president’s action because the original DACA action [of 2012] was successful. It’s very important to allow the people that were brought as children into this country through no fault of their own to continue to live and be in our state and our country,” Kuehl said.
A large percentage of the constituency of the 3rd District would be eligible for the deferred action program, according to Kuehl.
“A lot of people may not know this but the 3rd District has the third highest number of undocumented immigrants in all the county — with 70,000 undocumented immigrants who would be impacted by DACA and DAPA,” Kuehl said.
Diego Sepúlveda, alumni network coordinator for the Dream Resource Center, a project of the UCLA Labor Center, spoke at the press conference on Tuesday announcing the Board of Supervisors’ support for Obama’s deferred action program.
Sepúlveda, himself a DACA recipient, was encouraged by the supervisors’ decision in supporting the president’s deferred action program.
“I think it’s very important that the county of Los Angeles has the resources to help families and applicants for deferred action. You have DACA and DAPA, but one of the issues that we don’t talk about is the cost, so to be able to receive support, I’m glad that they’re taking leadership so that L.A. County is a safe space for eligible DACA and DAPA recipients,” Sepúlveda said.
Sepúlveda graduated from UCLA in 2012 and is currently enrolled at the American Jewish University, where he is getting his MBA for nonprofit management.
“It sets the tone, not only in California but nationwide, that there needs to be more resources to DACA and DAPA recipients,” he said. “Both Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl are representing their constituents by supporting the deferred action program.”
Los Angeles County is home to nearly 900,000 undocumented immigrants, higher than anywhere else in California, according to the Public Policy Institute of California.
According to a 2013 report in collaboration with the University of Southern California and San Diego State University, granting citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants in California would cause an increase of $4.5 billion to the state economy annually, by conservative projections. Los Angeles County would experience an increase of $1.4 billion.
“I care very much about my constituents, including undocumented immigrants. They contribute to our society. The ability to work without fear, their growing children and their parents will bring only good to the country,” Kuehl said.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.