Los Angeles Councilmen Gil Cedillo and Curren Price joined the “Protect Our Families Campaign” outside City Hall Wednesday morning to announce their support for a council resolution calling on President Obama to stop the separation of families through immigration deportations.
The City Council later in the day voted 10-0 to approve the resolution, which is already supported by dozens of federal elected officials. They also approved an amendment calling for the expansion of the Deferred Action (DACA) program to all undocumented immigrants in the U.S., making Los Angeles the first city in the country to take such action.
Councilmen Paul Koretz, Bernard Parks and Mike Bonin were absent from the meeting: Mitchell Englander left before the resolution came up for a vote.
Deferred Action, or DACA, a presidential executive order issued by Obama in 2012, allows some immigrants who came to the US as children to avoid deportation for being in the country illegally if they meet certain requirements, such as having a high school diploma and no criminal background, or who serve in the military,
The City of San Francisco is expected to take up a similar motion today.
Washington legislators failed to pass immigration reform this year, despite support from the president and a wide swath of political, religious and economic interests from across the country, and numerous concessions by immigration reform supporters on border security and other politically charged concerns such as details on a path to citizenship.
“We cannot sit idle until Congress decides to take up the issue of immigration reform … Joining 29 Congressional members we ask President Obama to immediately halt deportations and grant deferred action to all undocumented Americans until immigration reform is realized,” stated Cedillo.
“The numbers don’t lie. Today we are seeing record high deportations even though many of those being deported pose no criminal threat,” added Price. “I have signed on to this resolution because these deportations have torn up thousands of families right here in our city, it has a detrimental impact on our communities and it is time that we stop them.”
The United States is deporting people at a faster rate than at any time in modern history, more than 1,100 people per day, according to a statement released by Cedillo. An estimated 1.5 million undocumented immigrants were deported between 2008 and 2012. Of those detained, only 11 percent were detained for violent crimes, according to a 2009 Department of Homeland Security report.
“The President has an opportunity to make history on this issue” Cedillo said.