CATHEDRAL CITY – In a 5-0 vote of support, the Cathedral City City Council went on record this week calling immigrants who came to the United States before they were 16, known as Dreamers, “integral” contributors to the Cathedral City economy and culture.
Dreamers live in the city, attend local schools and colleges, fill important roles in the city’s workforce and provide invaluable contributions and innovations in the community – and the Cathedral City Council wants everyone from their neighbors to President Trump to know that.
The five-member City Council solidified its support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program the Obama Administration announced in 2012.
To punctuate its collective belief, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of Dreamers and calls on federal representatives to reach a legislative agreement on DACA. There is no gray area where this City Council stands.
The Palm Springs City Council approved a similar Resolution in March.
The Resolution fits hand-in-glove with the ordinance the City Council passed in 2017 proclaiming sanctuary city status where all persons are treated equally, with respect and dignity, regardless of immigration status.
“These kids (now adults) came here to the US, not a lot of times by their free will, but by their parents when they were very small,” Mayor Stan Henry told Uken Report. “They have gone to school, gotten jobs and are trying to better themselves and were given a pathway to stay. That pathway was taken away without an alternative. We need to have a plan and a policy with a alternative. That is why I’m supportive of the Resolution.”
Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis also said that these young people did not ask their parents to come here.
“They didn’t have a choice,” Pettis said. “Now, 10, 15 years later the President wants to send them back to a country they never knew and have no contacts there; be it México, Honduras, Guatemala or other nations in Central and South America
“These young people have relied on promises made by the Federal Government,” Pettis continued. “Just because President Trump wants to make America white again, there are ethical and integrity issues as well as full faith in the country. We as a nation must honor our promises and that begins with children.”
“A comprehensive and functioning immigration system is essential to ensuring our city’s and country’s future economic prosperity, our overall public safety, and a diverse and meaningful community,” according to the adopted Resolution.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors in February approved a bipartisan resolution to support DACA. The county’s resolution, initiated by Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel “Manny” Perez, was also unanimously approved – but only after an hour of emotional public testimony.
Riverside County’s resolution urges federal legislators to provide a long-term solution that would allow participants of the Obama-era program – more than 13,000 of whom live in Riverside County – to remain in the country with a pathway to citizenship.
Nearly 790,000 Dreamers have been granted work authorization and temporary relief from deportation as part of the DACA program. DACA gives unauthorized immigrants who came to the United States before age 16 a chance to stay in this country to study or work, provided they meet certain conditions such as being enrolled in high school or having a high school degree or GED equivalent, and not have a serious criminal conviction.
Those approved for the program are given a work permit and protection from deportation for two years. These benefits can be renewed.
DACA recipients contribute 15.3 percent of their wages to taxes, which fund Social Security and Medicare, and DACA recipients are investing in assets, like houses and starting new businesses. Ending this program would leave these young people who now call this nation home unsure of their legal status and would lead to the loss of .9 billion in tax contributions over the next four years, the loss of at least 3.4 billion from the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP over the next decade, according to the approved Resolution.
On Sept. 4, 2017, the Trump administration announced that it would not renew DACA and allow the current group of DACA beneficiaries’ work authorizations to expire.
The Resolution now goes to the president, vice president and Congressman Raul Ruiz.