Calif. Delegation Meets With Dreamers

October 19, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

California members of Congress were in Los Angeles Wednesday where they held a roundtable discussion with young immigrants currently protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and by Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) — joined by Congress members Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Judy Chu (CA-27), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) and other local leaders — said during a post-discussion press conference at the headquarters of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights CHIRLA, that federal lawmakers are working to pass  “clean” legislation that would give the young immigrants, often referred to as “dreamers,” permanent legal status, but not tied to construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pelosi and the Democrats said by the end of the year they hope to have the votes needed to pass the Dream Act 2017, a bipartisan bill introduced by Roybal-Allard, a Democrat, and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Republican.

“All we need is to vote,” said Pelosi, adding that “dreamers” have led a dignified crusade to get support for the bill. “The president must support this legislation because the American people are supporting it,” Pelosi said.

Twenty Republican votes are needed to move the Dream Act forward, according to Pelosi, who pointed out that some of the votes belong to Republicans from California. She said it’s a “marathon race” to the goal, suggesting that a vote could come before Thanksgiving Day.

Roybal-Allard said failure to pass the Dream Act would cause dreamers, who “have lived in this country” … and “built their lives here,” to “continue to live in fear of deportation, and … to “live in a world where they will not be able to grow and to contribute to their communities.”

“They gave their information, they signed up for DACA, believing in this country. And to do anything else but to protect them by passing the Dream Act is a betrayal, and would be a disgrace and a very ugly mark on this country,” Roybal-Allard said.

For Congressman Jimmy Gomez, who represents a large number of dreamers, Pelosi’s remarks are not only about a political strategy but also about public opinion in the country, including among conservatives.

“We know that 82 percent of Americans support ‘dreamers’, the debate will not end until this bill has been approved,” Gomez said.

“Definitely, the only weapon is to put pressure on these (Republican) congressmen who have already expressed their support and are repenting,” said DACA recipient and roundtable participant Mariana Villafaña.

Although Villafaña is not completely convinced public opinion can change the minds of Republicans, she believes the key is to target districts whose legislators are at risk of losing their seat to a Democrat.

CHIRLA Executive Director Angélica Salas asked that the immigrant community to not miss this “crucial” moment and to continue the struggle for “dreamers.”

Pelosi said she understands the frustration of dreamers who say they reject any strategy to legalize their status that does not also include legalization for all 11 million immigrants in the country without authorization, but stressed that as of now there is not enough “political capital” to achieve that goal.

“I would have liked to hear a little more force in the demands of the conservatives, but I understand that this is a strategy and we have no choice but to continue this struggle. December is the goal,” said Villafaña.

Democrats have threatened to block in the coming months any legislation Congress needs to keep the government going, such as the new federal budget for which Trump needs the support of Liberals if he wants to avoid a government shutdown.

Pelosi was optimistic Wednesday, going so far as to say she is “confident that President Trump will accept the negotiations and sign the law.”

Pelosi Busca Con ‘Soñadores’ Estrategia Para Una Legalización ‘Limpia’

October 18, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

La líder demócrata de la Cámara de Representantes, Nancy Pelosi, discutió el miércoles con jóvenes protegidos por la Acción Diferida (DACA) una estrategia que permita una legislación “limpia” que otorgue un estatus migratorio permanente a los “soñadores”.

Los beneficiados con este programa, a los que se les llama “soñadores”, han visto con preocupación las exigencias del presidente Trump de ligar cualquier tipo de beneficio migratorio de carácter permanente a su favor, que se discute en el Parlamento, con la construcción de un muro en la frontera con México.

No obstante, Pelosi y los demócratas aseguran que las posibilidades no están languideciendo y que los votos necesarios para aprobar el proyecto de ley bipartidista Dream Act 2017, presentado por las congresistas Lucille Roybal-Allard (demócrata) y Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (republicana) se pueden conseguir para fin de año.

“Todo lo que necesitamos es votar, porque los ‘soñadores’ ya condujeron esta cruzada y lo hicieron de una forma digna, y el presidente debe apoyar esta legislación porque los estadounidenses la están apoyando”, señaló Pelosi.

Para el congresista Jimmy Gomez, que acudió a la reunión y representa un distrito electoral con un gran número de soñadores, las observaciones de Pelosi no sólo tienen que ver con una estrategia política sino con el sentir de la opinión pública del país, incluidos los conservadores.

“Sabemos que el 82 por ciento de los estadounidenses apoyan a los ‘soñadores’, el debate no se terminará hasta que este proyecto de ley no se haya aprobado”, sentenció Gómez.

“Definitivamente la única arma es presionar a estos congresistas (republicanos) que ya habían expresado su apoyo y se están arrepintiendo”, dijo a EFE la joven Mariana Villafaña, amparada con DACA y una de las asistentes al encuentro celebrado en la sede de la Coalición por los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes (CHIRLA), en Los Ángeles.

Fotografiado de izquierda a derecha: el congresista Jimmy Gomez, la directora ejecutiva de CHIRLA, Angelica Salas, la líder demócrata de la Cámara Nancy Pelosi, la congresista Lucille Roybal-Allard y la congresista Judy Chu participan en una conferencia de prensa luego de una discusión con "soñadores". (Oficina de la Congresista Lucille Roybal-Allard)

Fotografiado de izquierda a derecha: el congresista Jimmy Gomez, la directora ejecutiva de CHIRLA, Angelica Salas, la líder demócrata de la Cámara Nancy Pelosi, la congresista Lucille Roybal-Allard y la congresista Judy Chu participan en una conferencia de prensa luego de una discusión con “soñadores”. (Oficina de la Congresista Lucille Roybal-Allard)

Aunque Villafaña no está muy convencida que la opinión pública influya en la decisión final de los republicanos, cree la clave está en los distritos cuyos legisladores están en riesgo de perder el escaño frente a su correspondiente rival demócrata.

Pelosi señaló que para sacar adelante la iniciativa restan 20 votos, todos de la bancada republicana, algunos de los cuales representantes por California, y por ello propuso una “carrera maratónica” para asegurar el objetivo e incluso habló de poder tener una votación antes del Día de Acción de Gracias (fines de noviembre).

Por su parte, la congresista Roybal-Allard, autora del proyecto, alentó a los asistentes tras asegurar que de no aprobarse la iniciativa legislativa “el país quedaría con una marca muy fea”.

La directora de CHIRLA, Angélica Salas, pidió que la comunidad inmigrante no desaproveche este momento “crucial”, esta “ventana que se abre” y que continúe la lucha por los “soñadores”.

Ante el descontento de muchos jóvenes soñadores, que rechazan su legalización a menos que incluya al total de once millones de indocumentados, Pelosi aseguró que entiende la frustración e incluso los abucheos y los gritos de “mentirosa” que sufrió hace unas semanas en San Francisco, pero recalcó que por ahora no existe el “capital político” para lograr esa meta.

“Me hubiera gustado escuchar un poco más de fuerza en la exigencia a los conservadores, pero entiendo que esto es una estrategia y no nos queda otra que seguir esta lucha. Diciembre es la meta”, dijo Villafaña.

Los demócratas han amenazado con bloquear en los próximos meses cualquier ley que el Congreso necesite aprobar para que el Gobierno siga funcionado, como es el caso del nuevo presupuesto fiscal para el que Trump necesita el apoyo de los liberales si quiere evitar un fatídico cierre.

Pelosi se mostró el miércoles optimista y llegó a decir que “tiene confianza que el presidente Trump acepte las negociaciones y firme la ley”.

Día D de DACA: “Prometemos Luchar”

September 7, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

En conferencias de prensa y protestas en todo el país el martes, funcionarios electos e activistas inmigrantes atacaron con furia al presidente Donald Trump de eliminar gradualmente el programa de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA), prometiendo luchar para proteger a sus beneficiarios muchas veces conocidos como los Dreamers (Soñadores).

El fiscal general Jeff Sessions hizo el anuncio el martes, diciendo que el presidente había decidido dejar que el programa expire en marzo del 2018, dándole al Congreso 6 meses para aprobar una solución legislativa permanente a la situación de los jóvenes indocumentados cuyos padres los trajeron de niños ilegalmente a los EE.UU. y no han hecho nada malo.

Sessions dijo que el programa comenzó en 2012 por el entonces presidente Barack Obama fue una inconstitucional “expansión del poder ejecutivo”, tomando la autoridad que pertenece al Congreso.

“El poder legislativo y no el poder ejecutivo, escribe estas leyes, éste es el fundamento de nuestro sistema constitucional, el cual tomé un juramento solemne de preservar, proteger y defender”, dijo Trump en su declaración oficial.

Bajo DACA, se calcula que 800.000 personas que fueron traídas al país como niños – incluidas 222.000 en California – recibieron una suspensión temporal de la deportación, número de seguro social y permiso para trabajar legalmente en los Estados Unidos con un permiso de trabajo renovable de 2 años.

A los pocos minutos del anuncio, los partidarios del programa DACA comenzaron una oleada de conferencias de prensa, emitiendo declaraciones condenando la decisión y exigiendo una acción rápida por parte del Congreso dirigido por los republicanos para aprobar legislación para proteger a los Dreamers, plenamente consciente de que el cuerpo legislativo ha fallado repetidamente para actuar para reformar las leyes de inmigración del país.

“El presidente Trump ha manchado flagrantemente nuestros valores e ideales estadounidenses con esta decisión”, dijo Angélica Salas, directora ejecutiva de la Coalición por los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes (CHIRLA), una de los organizadores de una protesta en la calle Olivera en el centro de Los Ángeles en donde asistieron más de mil personas.

Salas señalo que “el Congreso no ha aprobado el DREAM Act no una, sino tres veces y se ha negado a aprobar la reforma migratoria integral durante casi dos décadas”.

“¿El Congreso se sentirá obligado esta vez de actuar y aprobar un proyecto de ley limpio y autónomo para proteger y hacer justicia a los jóvenes inmigrantes y a sus familias? Ojalá”.

La congresista Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Ángeles, llamó a la decisión del presidente de rescindir el programa “indignante”. Se unió a sus colegas demócratas para una conferencia de prensa en el Capitolio, donde pidieron a sus compañeros republicanos del Congreso que trabajen con ellos para aprobar la legislación antes de que se finalice DACA.

En una conferencia de prensa a la que también asistieron miembros de la Junta de Supervisores del Condado, el alcalde de Los Ángeles, Eric Garcetti, dijo: “La acción del presidente Trump en DACA es cruel – amenaza con separar a familias, pone en riesgo nuestra economía y no hará nada para unificar a los Estados Unidos o hacernos más seguros”.

El alcalde también instó al Congreso a actuar rápidamente sobre la legislación: “…Ellos pertenecen aquí. Y lucharemos para que se queden”.

La supervisora Hilda Solís dijo que la decisión no solo pone en peligro el futuro de casi 800.000 Dreamers sino también “el futuro de casi 65.000 estudiantes indocumentados que se gradúan de la escuela secundaria cada año y que podrían haber sido apoyados a través de DACA”.

“Según el Centro para el Progreso Americano (Center for American Progress), los beneficiarios de DACA aportarán $460.3000 millones al producto interno bruto de los Estados Unidos durante la próxima década, un crecimiento económico que ahora se perderá”, dijo Solís en un comunicado de prensa.

Al defender la decisión, Trump dijo: “Solo por la aplicación confiable de la ley de inmigración podemos producir comunidades seguras, una clase media robusta y equidad económica para todos los estadounidenses”.

Señalo que funcionarios de 10 estados están demandando al programa y sus asesores legales han determinado que es “ilegal e inconstitucional y no puede ser defendido con éxito en los tribunos”.

No todo el mundo estaba en desacuerdo con la posición del presidente.

Tom Fitton, presidente de Judicial Watch, dijo: “La decisión del presidente Trump ayuda a restaurar el estado de derecho y la gobernanza constitucional…La acción de la administración de Trump sobre la inmigración demuestra que la mejor reforma migratoria es finalmente hacer cumplir la ley”, dijo.

El congresista Darrel Issa, R-Vista, dijo que la acción unilateral de Obama fue solo una “curita temporal”. El continúo diciendo que la acción de Trump “pone el peso en Congreso para enfrentar este desafío de la manera correcta: para el largo plazo, con respeto a las leyes de nuestra nación, el deseo de mejorar la integridad de nuestras fronteras, y un sentido de compasión para aquellos que fueron traídos aquí en su infancia hace años y desean permanecer como miembros productivos de nuestras comunidades”.

Diciendo que está “ansioso por llegar a trabajar en una solución permanente”, instó a “los demócratas y los republicanos por igual para poner inmediatamente de lado la postura política y dejar que esto sea un catalizador para lograr las reformas desde hace mucho tiempo en esta importante área de preocupación”.

La líder republicana del senado de California, Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, dijo que el presidente había cumplido una promesa que hizo durante su campaña. “Ahora el verdadero trabajo debe comenzar”, dijo, pero agregó que “eso solo ocurrirá con el liderazgo bipartidista del Congreso y el presidente”.

Ella continuó criticando las administraciones presidenciales republicanos y demócratas por no aprobar la reforma migratoria. “El retraso y la inacción ya no son opciones”, dijo Bates.

En una manifestación al mediodía frente al Ayuntamiento, luciendo una gorra de béisbol roja con el tema “Make America Great Again” de Trump, Arthur Schaper, un blogger de la página web asheisministries.blogspot.com, defendió la acción del presidente como la decisión correcta para el país.

En la misma manifestación, el partidario Latino de Trump, Fernando García, dijo que Obama debería haber hecho las cosas de manera diferente porque sabía que llegaría este día: ¿Por qué no nos hizo todos ciudadanos desde ese entonces?” dijo.

Los activistas de derechos de inmigración instaron a los partidarios de DACA a inundar a los legisladores con cartas y llamadas telefónicas que exigen que actúen para proteger a los receptores de DACA a través de legislación permanente.

También recordaron a los receptores de DACA, muchos de los cuales se han visto afectados por el temor y la incertidumbre, que todavía tienen derechos y su estatus, al menos por el momento, no ha cambiado.

Según Ready California (Listo California), una colaboración a nivel estatal para fortalecer las comunidades de inmigrantes a través del acceso a información y servicios legales, el Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos (USCIS) ha dejado de aceptar solicitudes iniciales para DACA y dejará de renovar solicitudes de DACA a partir del 5 de marzo del 2018.

“Sin embargo, los permisos de trabajo de los receptores de DACA seguirán siendo válidos hasta su fecha de vencimiento. Los empleadores no tienen derecho a despedir a los receptores de DACA a menos que sus permisos de trabajo se hayan expirado”, dijo el grupo en un comunicado.

Los beneficiarios actuales de DACA, cuyas autorizaciones de empleo expirarán hasta el 5 de marzo del 2018, sólo tendrán hasta el 5 de octubre para presentar una solicitud con el Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los Estados Unidos.

Si se aprueba, se espera que la renovación sea buena por dos años o hasta el 2019. Sin embargo, si su permiso expira después del 5 de marzo del 2018, USCIS dejará de aceptar y resolver sus solicitudes de renovación, terminando efectivamente la autorización para trabajar legalmente a partir del 6 de marzo del 2018.

Ready California está asesorando a los receptores de DACA a consultar con un abogado de inmigración experimentado; evitar los proveedores de servicios fraudulentos; y evitar cualquier contacto negativo con fuerzas policiales.

“Cualquier arresto, cargo o condena, especialmente un DUI o una conducta relacionada con drogas puede tener consecuencias negativas para la inmigración. El contacto con la policía puede resultar en la exposición a las autoridades de inmigración”, advirtieron.

DACA’s D-Day: ‘We Vow to Fight’

September 7, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

At press conferences and protests across the country Tuesday, elected officials and immigrant activists lashed out angrily against Pres. Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, vowing to fight to protect its beneficiaries often referred to as Dreamers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement Tuesday, saying the president has decided to let the program expire in March 2018, giving the Congress 6 months to pass a permanent legislative solution to the plight of undocumented young people whose parents brought them illegally to the U.S. as children and have done nothing wrong.

Sessions said the program started in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama was an unconstitutional “expansion of executive power,” taking authority that belongs to the Congress.

“The legislative branch, not the executive branch, writes these laws — this is the bedrock of our Constitutional system, which I took a solemn oath to preserve, protect, and defend,” said Trump in his official statement.

Under DACA, an estimated 800,000 people who were brought to the country as children – including 220,000 in California – have received a temporary reprieve from deportation, social security number and permission to work legally in the U.S. with a 2-year renewable work permits.

Within minutes of the announcement, supporters of the DACA program began a flurry of news conferences, issuing statements condemning the decision and demanding quick action by the Republican-led Congress to pass legislation to protect Dreamers, fully aware that the legislative body has repeatedly failed to act to reform the country’s immigration laws.

“President Trump has flagrantly sullied our American values and ideals with this decision,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), one of the organizers of a protest rally at Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles attended by over a thousand people.

Salas pointed out that “Congress has failed to pass the DREAM Act not once but three times and it has refused to approve comprehensive immigration reform for nearly two decades.

“Will Congress feel compelled this time around to act and approve a clean, stand-alone bill to protect and bring justice to young immigrants and their families? Let’s hope so.”

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, called the president’s decision to rescind the program “outrageous.” She joined her Democratic colleagues for a press conference at the Capitol, where they called on the their Republican fellow members of Congress to work with them to pass legislation before DACA ends.

At a press conference also attended by members of the County Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “President Trump’s action on DACA is cruel — it threatens to tear families apart, put our economy at risk, and will do nothing to unify America or make us more secure.”

The mayor also urged congress to act quickly on legislation: “… They belong here. And we’ll fight for them to stay.”

Sup. Hilda Solis said the decision not only puts the future of almost 800,000 DREAMers in danger, but also “the future of almost 65,000 undocumented students who graduate high school every year and could have been supported through DACA.”

“According to the Center for American Progress, DACA beneficiaries will contribute $460.3 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product over the next decade – economic growth that will now be lost,” Solis said in press statement.

In defending the decision, Trump said “Only by the reliable enforcement of immigration law can we produce safe communities, a robust middle class and economic fairness for all Americans.”

He noted that officials from 10 states are suing over the program, and his legal advisers have determined that it is “unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.”

Not everyone disagreed with the president’s position.

In a video posted on YouTube, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said “President Trump’s decision helps restore the rule of law and constitutional governance … The Trump administration’s enforcement action on immigration shows the best immigration reform is to finally enforce the law,” he said.

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa of Vista, California, said Obama’s unilateral action was just a “temporary Band-aid.” He went on to say that Trump’s action “puts the onus on Congress to address this challenge in the right way: for the long-haul, with respect for our nation’s laws, a desire to enhance the integrity of our borders, and a sense of compassion for those who were brought here in their childhood years ago and wish to stay as productive members of our communities.”

Saying he is “eager to get to work on a permanent fix,” he called on “Democrats and Republicans alike to immediately put political posturing aside and let this be a catalyst to achieve long-overdue reforms in this important area of concern.”

California Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, said the president had acted on a promise he made during his campaign. “Now the real work must begin,” she said, but adding “that will only happen with bipartisan leadership from Congress and the President.” She criticized past Republican and Democratic presidential administrations for failing to pass immigration reform. “Delay and inaction are no longer options,” said Bates.

At a noontime rally in front of City Hall, sporting a red baseball cap with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, Arthur Schaper, a blogger on the website asheisministries.blogspot.com defended the president’s action as the right decision for the country.

At the same rally, Latino Trump supporter Fernando Garcia said Obama should have done things differently because he knew this day would eventually come: “Why did he not make us all citizens back then?” he said.

Immigration rights activists urged DACA supporters to flood legislators with letters and phone calls demanding they act to protect DACA recipients through permanent legislation,

They also reminded DACA recipients, many shaken to the core with fear and uncertainty, that they still have rights and their status, at least for the time being, is unchanged.

According to Ready California, a statewide collaborative working to empower immigrant communities through access to information and legal services, as of Tuesday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has stopped accepting initial applications for DACA and will discontinue renewing DACA applications as of March 5, 2018.

“However, DACA recipients’ work permits will continue to be valid until their expiration date. Employers do not have the right to fire DACA recipients unless their work permits have expired,” the group said in an advisory.

Current DACA beneficiaries whose employment authorizations will expire between now and March 5, 2018, only have until Oct. 5 to file a request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

If approved, the renewal is expected to be good for two years, or until 2019. If your permit expires after March 5, 2018, however, USCIS will no longer accept and adjudicate their applications for renewal, effectively ending the authorization to work legally beginning March 6, 2018.

Ready California is advising DACA recipients to consult with an experienced immigration attorney; avoid fraudulent service providers; and to avoid any negative contact with law enforcement.

“Any arrest, charge, or conviction, especially DUI or conduct related to drugs can have negative immigration consequences. Contact with law enforcement can result in exposure to the immigration authorities,” they cautioned.

Trump Rescinde DACA: 800.000 Beneficiaros en Riesgo

September 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Los líderes demócratas del sur de California y los defensores de los inmigrantes criticaron duramente hoy la decisión de la Administración de Trump de eliminar gradualmente el programa de Acción Deferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA), que ha protegido a unas 800.000 personas – incluidas más de 242.000 en California – que fueron traídos al país como niños de deportación.

Los activistas de inmediato planearon salir a las calles para protestar la decisión, que fue anunciado por el fiscal general Jeff Sessions en nombre del presidente Donald Trump.

Read this article in English: Trump Rescinds DACA: 800,000 Recipients at Risk

Bajo la acción de la Administración de Trump, el Congreso tendrá seis meses para intentar aprobar una legislación que se dirija a DACA antes de que el programa se elimine gradualmente.

La congresista Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, también en Twitter, instó a todos sus “colegas republicanos a unirse a nosotros y tomar medidas para #ProtectDreamers! #DefendDACA!”

El alcalde de Los Ángeles, Eric Garcetti, dijo: “La acción del presidente Trump en DACA es cruel – amenaza con separar a familias, pone en riesgo nuestra economía y no hará nada para unificar a Estados Unidos o hacernos más seguros”.

“La decisión de hoy es un revés gigante para los Estados Unidos, porque todos nuestros niños deben sentirse seguros y aceptados en un país que les pertenece”, dijo Garcetti. “DACA ha permitido que cerca de 800.000 jóvenes ambiciosos y patrióticos comiencen sus carreras, permanezcan en la escuela y devuelvan a nuestras comunidades sin temor a ser separados de la gente que aman”.

El alcalde también instó al Congreso a actuar rápidamente sobre la legislación: “…Ellos pertenecen aquí. Y lucharemos para que se queden”.

Al defender la decisión, Trump dijo que el presidente Barack Obama excedió su autoridad en la creación del programa DACA.

“En junio de 2012, el presidente Obama evitó que el Congreso otorgue permisos de trabajo, números de Seguro Social y beneficios federales a aproximadamente 800.000 inmigrantes ilegales actualmente entre las edades de 15 y 36 años”, dijo Trump.

“Los receptores típicos de esta amnistía ejecutiva, conocida como DACA, tienen más de 20 años. La legislación que ofrecía estos mismos beneficios había sido presentada en el Congreso en numerosas ocasiones y fue rechazada cada vez”.

Trump agregó: “Solo por la aplicación confiable de la ley de inmigración podemos producir comunidades seguras, una clase media robusta y equidad económica para todos los estadounidenses”.

Señalo que funcionarios de 10 estados están demandando el programa y sus asesores legales han determinado que es “ilegal e inconstitucional y no puede ser defendido con éxito en los tribunales”.

Esos argumentos hicieron poco para apaciguar a los legisladores demócratas.

La senadora Kamala Harris, de California, dijo que los receptores de DACA “hacen que nuestra nación sea fuerte y representen lo mejor de los Estados Unidos” y rescindir el programa “socava los valores de nuestra nación y es una cruel traición” de DREAMers. El representante Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, criticó el “ataque cruel y arbitrario” contra ellos.

La senadora Dianne Feinstein, D-California, instó al Congreso a avanzar con la legislación conocida como el DREAM Act que proporcionaría un camino a la ciudadanía para DREAMers – el término usado para los receptores de DACA.

“El fracaso en proteger a los jóvenes que han salido de las sombras constituiría un abyecto fracaso moral”, dijo Feinstein.

Funcionarios de la Unión Internacional de Empleados de Servicios denunciaron lo que llamó un “ataque vergonzoso” contra los beneficiaros de DACA.

La Coalición por los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes de Los Ángeles (CHIRLA) dijo que los miembros estaban listos para reunirse en las oficinas de los legisladores republicanos, incluyendo el representante Steven Knight en Santa Clarita, la representante Mimi Walters en Irvine, así como la oficina del representante Kevin McCarthy en Bakersfield.

Además, decenas de trabajadores y miembros de la comunidad planificaron una marcha de mediodía por el centro de la ciudad de Los Ángeles desde los escalones del Ayuntamiento hasta el edificio federal en el bloque 200 del este de la calle Temple.

Introducido por Obama en 2012, DACA permite a las personas que fueron traídas ilegalmente a los Estados Unidos como niños a trabajar y estudiar en el país sin temor de ser deportados. DACA ha estado disponible para inmigrantes sin antecedentes penales que fueron traídos al país cuando eran menores de 16 años de edad. Los permisos de trabajo expedidos bajo DACA deben renovarse cada dos años.

Trump ha adoptado una postura dura contra la inmigración ilegal, pero hasta poco no había dado una fuerte indicación de si mantendría a DACA en su lugar.

Preguntado durante el fin de semana si los receptores de DACA deben estar preocupados, Trump respondió: “Amamos a los DREAMers. Amamos a todos…Creamos que los DREAMers son fantásticos”.

El representante Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, es uno de los muchos funcionarios electos de ambos partidos que han criticado los planes del presidente.

“La cobarde decisión de Trump de poner fin a DACA va en contra de las mismas fuerzas que han hecho de Estados Unidos un país excepcional”, dijo Lieu. “Deportar a cientos de miles de asiáticos y latinos – casi la mitad de los cuales fueron traídos a los Estados Unidos antes de los 7 años – no sólo es cruel, sino que dañara a nuestra economía”.

Trump Rescinds DACA: 800,000 Recipients at Risk

September 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Southland Democratic leaders and immigrant advocates lashed out harshly today at the Trump Administration decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has protected an estimated 800,000 people – including more than 242,000 in California – who were brought to the country as children from deportation.

Activists immediately planned to take to the streets to protest the move, which was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on behalf of President Donald Trump.

Trump Terminates DACA: Protesters begin to gather at L.A. City Hall for march to federal building. (EGP photo by Fred Zermeno)

Trump Terminates DACA: Protesters begin to gather at L.A. City Hall for march to federal building. (EGP photo by Fred Zermeno)

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, called the president’s decision to rescind the program “outrageous.” This is a “heartbreaking day for the US and the bright young DACA recipients who know no home but America,” she said on Twitter.

Under the action by the Trump Administration, Congress will be given six months to attempt to pass legislation addressing DACA before the program is phased out.

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, also on Twitter, urged all her “Republican colleagues to join us & take action to #ProtectDreamers! #DefendDACA!”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “President Trump’s action on DACA is cruel — it threatens to tear families apart, put our economy at risk, and will do nothing to unify America or make us more secure.”

“Today’s decision is a giant setback for America, because all our children should feel safe and accepted in a country that belongs to them,” Garcetti said. “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has allowed close to 800,000 ambitious, patriotic young people to start careers, stay in school, and
give back to our communities without fear of being torn from the people they love.”

The mayor also urged congress to act quickly on legislation: “… They belong here. And we’ll fight for them to stay.”

In defending the decision, Trump said President Barack Obama over-stepped his authority in creating the DACA program.

“In June of 2012, 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. “The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their 20s. Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time.”

Trump added: “Only by the reliable enforcement of immigration law can we produce safe communities, a robust middle class and economic fairness for all Americans.”

He noted that officials from 10 states are suing over the program, and his legal advisers have determined that it is “unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.”

Those arguments did little to appease Democratic lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, said DACA recipients “make our nation strong and represent the best of America” and rescinding the program “undermines our nation’s values and is a cruel betrayal” of DREAMers. Rep.Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, criticized the “cruel and arbitrary attack” on them.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, urged Congress to move forward with legislation known as the DREAM Act that would provide a path to citizenship for DREAMers — the term used for DACA recipients.

“Failure to protect young people who have come out of the shadows would constitute an abject moral failure,” Feinstein said.

Officials with the Service Employees International Union decried what it called a “shameful attack” against DACA beneficiaries.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles said members were ready to gather at the offices of Republican legislators, including Rep. Steven Knight in Santa Clarita and Rep. Mimi Walters in Irvine, as well as Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office in Bakersfield.

Additionally, scores of workers and community members planned a midday march through downtown L.A. from the steps of City Hall to the federal building on the 200 block of east Temple Street.

Introduced by Obama in 2012, DACA allows people who were brought into the United States illegally as children to work and study in the country without fear of being deported. DACA has been available to immigrants without criminal records who were brought to the country when they were younger than 16 years old. Work permits issued under DACA must be renewed every two years.

Trump has taken a hard stance against illegal immigration, but until recently had not given a strong indication of whether he would keep DACA in place.

Asked over the weekend whether DACA recipients should be worried, Trump responded, “We love the DREAMers. We love everybody. … We think the DREAMers are terrific.”

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, is one of many elected officials of both parties who have criticized the president’s plans.

“Trump’s cowardly decision to end DACA goes against the very forces that have made America an exceptional country,” Lieu said. “Deporting hundreds of thousands of Asians and Latinos — nearly half of whom were brought to the U.S. before the age of 7 — is not only cruel, it will hurt our economy.”

EGP staff writers contributed to this report.

With Trump Action Expected Soon, Hundreds Rally In L.A. To Support DACA

September 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Hundreds of activists and immigrants gathered in downtown Los Angeles today to rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which could be dismantled or altered by President Trump.

The program, known as DACA and introduced by former President Barack Obama in 2012, allows people who were brought into the United States illegally as children to work and study in the country without fear of being deported.

Trump has taken a hard stance against illegal immigration, but has not given a strong indication of whether he plans to keep DACA in place. Recent unconfirmed media reports have suggested that Trump is prepared to end the program outright.

Questioned Friday morning, Trump said he plans to issue a decision “sometime today or over the weekend.

“We’ll issue it sometime over the weekend, maybe this afternoon,” Trump said.

Asked if DACA recipients— generally known as DREAMers — should be mworried, he responded, “We love the DREAMers. We love everybody. … We think the DREAMers are terrific.”

Rallying in downtown Los Angeles, local immigrants, elected officials and labor leaders called on the Trump to maintain the program that has helped an estimated 800,000 people avoid deportation.

“I’m here to say that the labor movement, the union movement stands side by side with our DACA young men and women,” said labor leaders Maria Elena Durazo. “… My message to Donald Trump is: Have a heart, show compassion. Have a backbone and show some courage. And have a brain and show some intelligence. Because you know what? We have all these reasons as to why the DACA program needs to be preserved and protected. He knows what those are.

“We don’t want 800,000 people who have been vetted, who have applied, who have given all of their information to the government to now have to go underground,” she said. “That’s what Donald Trump wants? I say no to that.”

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, which organized the rally, has been holding events throughout the week in support of DACA, including a phone bank of people calling the White House in support of the program.

DACA is available to immigrants without criminal records who were brought to the country when they were younger than 16 years old. Work permits issued under DACA must be renewed every two years.

“The DREAMers and the DACA recipients are the embodiment of America’s promise — the idea of no matter where you’re from, no matter the color of your skin, no matter the god you worship, if you come here and you believe in America, you contribute to America, you actually make America a better place, that you deserve a place here in the United States of America.” said Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles.

As Deadline Looms, Activists Mobilize to Defend DACA

August 31, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Youth covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, their parents and immigrant rights advocates on Monday began a weeklong series of civil actions to fight efforts to end the program.

DACA allows young people brought to the country illegally as children to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Upwards of 800,000 people have already been granted DACA status and as many as 200,000 applications have been filed since Trump became president.

The attorneys general of 10 states, however, have threated to sue the Trump administration if the program is not ended by Sept. 5, the date it is set to expire.

“We are on alert for what can happen on Sept. 5th,” Melody Klingenfuss, a spokeswoman for the California Dream Network in Los Angeles told EFE. “So this is a reminder to all that we are in this fight until the end,” Klingenfuss said.

The mobilizations, organized as part of the “Rise Up 4 DACA” campaign, kicked off Monday with coalition members posting banners and sign over the 101-Hollywood Freeway during morning rush hour. It was followed by a meeting with U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris where activists called on the senator to continue to defend DACA recipients and to work toward legislation to gives “Dreamers,” as the young immigrants are often called, permanent residency.

“One in four Dreamers lives in California and Sen. Harris knows the value of the contribution we and our families make to the economy of this country,” pointed out Klingenfuss, a native of Guatemala and a DACA beneficiary.

At Monday’s meeting with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and the California Dream Network (CDN), the senator vowed to fight for DACA’s survival.

“We will fight to keep the spirit behind DACA alive,” Harris said.

In April, Trump seemed to back away from his harsh campaign rhetoric promising to deport anyone in the country illegally. He told the Associated Press at the time that he would prioritize the deportation of criminals, so DACA recipients should “rest easy.” He added that he would handle the program with “heart.”

But it appears the president may again be reversing course, with White House officials saying last week that he is weighing whether to allow the program to just expire or to cut it immediately. The program “continues to be under review,” Trump Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters last Friday.

Dreamers said they planned to meet with Harris at least twice this week, and are seeking to firm up commitments from other California Democratic members of Congress, including U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez.

The California Legislature will also be a target of action and several delegations were headed to Sacramento Wednesday to lobby state lawmakers.

“We need the state to be committed to defending ‘Dreamers’ and to not [allow them to] become targets of local authorities,” CHIRLA spokesman Jorge Mario Cabrera told EFE.

DACA supporters planned to bombard the White House with phone calls demanding the president keep DACA in place. They called on voters everywhere to the same.

“They are playing with the Dream Act and making political bets to see who wins,” warned Ivan Ceja, director of UndocuMedia. “We cannot let them continue to use us this way,” he said.

Ceja was referring to the crusade by conservatives to abolish DACA, potentially placing nearly a million young people in danger of deportation. The state attorneys general, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, argue that Obama’s executive order creating DACA is unconstitutional and should, therefore, be halted.

Immigrant rights activists say efforts to end the program, which has the support of a wide mix of interests, including small to large businesses, law enforcement and religious groups, are misguided and would harm the economy.

Ending the program would cause thousands to lose their jobs and result in a $460 billion loss in gross domestic product (GDP) over the next decade, warns a study released Tuesday by the Center for American Progress and FWD.us, an immigration reform group started by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders.

“If Pres. Trump puts an end to DACA, he would be demonstrating once again that he prefers the white supremacist agenda and is not interested in the well-being of this country,” warned Cabrera.

A large demonstration has been planned for Friday in front of the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles.

“We are inviting everyone, immigrants, Americans, undocumented, documented to join us,” Klingenfuss said. “Dreamers will never abandon this just cause.”

Information from EFE was used in this report.

Activistas y “Soñadores” Defienden a DACA

August 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Jóvenes amparados por el programa de Acción Diferida (DACA), sus padres y defensores de los inmigrantes de California iniciaron el lunes una semana de acciones para defender este beneficio ante la demanda de fiscales de diez estados que piden su cancelación.

“Estamos bajo alerta por lo que pueda pasar este 5 de septiembre, que es el plazo que dieron los fiscales a la administración (del presidente Donald) Trump, así que este es un recordatorio para todos que vamos a estar en la lucha hasta las últimas consecuencias”, dijo a EFE Melody Klingenfuss, vocera de California Dream Network en Los Ángeles.

Las movilizaciones inician con una petición a la senadora Kamala Harris para que mantenga su compromiso con los beneficiados y trabaje por una legislación que les dé a los “soñadores” la residencia.

“Uno de cada cuatro soñadores vive en California y la senadora Harris sabe el valor del aporte que nosotros y nuestras familias le damos a la economía de este país”, insistió Klingenfuss, oriunda de Guatemala y beneficiada de DACA.

Los “soñadores”, que buscan reunirse con Harris al menos dos veces en esta semana, quieren además la reafirmación de compromisos de congresistas como Linda Sánchez y otros demócratas que representan al estado en el Congreso federal.

La Legislatura de California también será un objetivo de las acciones y varias delegaciones se unirán en Sacramento para hacer cabildeo.

“Necesitamos que el estado esté comprometido a defender a los “soñadores” y que no se conviertan en blanco de las autoridades locales”, explicó a EFE Jorge Mario Cabrera, vocero de la Coalición por los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes (CHIRLA).

Los organizadores de esta semana de acciones quieren que la línea telefónica de la Casa Blanca para recibir sugerencias y opiniones del público sea saturada con pedidos de votantes para que se mantenga el programa creado por el expresidente Barack Obama en 2012 para proteger de la deportación a miles de jóvenes indocumentados.

“Están jugando con el Dream Act y haciendo apuestas políticas a ver quién gana y no podemos permitir que nos sigan utilizando de esta manera”, advirtió Ivan Ceja, director de UndocuMedia.

Ceja se refiere a la cruzada conservadora contra el programa que favorece a unos 800.000 jóvenes. Una coalición de procuradores estatales encabezada por el fiscal General de Texas, Ken Paxton exigió al presidente terminar con DACA antes del 5 de septiembre argumentando que es inconstitucional.

“Si el presidente Trump termina con DACA estaría demostrando una vez más que prefiere una agenda de supremacistas blancos y que no le interesa el bienestar del país”, advirtió Cabrera.

Al menos tres vigilias están programadas a lo largo de la semana en manifestaciones que se concentrarán en los edificios federales de inmigración.

Los activistas también quieren recordar a la comunidad la importancia del programa y varias pancartas gigantes con el mensaje “LA Stands With DACA” serán desplegadas en las principales autopistas de Los Ángeles, mientras que otra acción similar será realizada en Sacramento, capital del estado.

“Estamos invitando a todos, inmigrantes, estadounidenses, indocumentados, documentados que se unan a nosotros porque los ‘soñadores’ nunca abandonaremos las causas justas”, dijo Klingenfuss.

Groups Mobilize to Save DACA

August 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A coalition of civil rights groups today began a weeklong series of local events in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which may be threatened with extinction under Pres. Donald Trump.

They are mobilizing to save the Obama-era program that allows young people brought to the country illegally as children to stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation. Upwards of 800,000 people have already been granted DACA status and as many as 200,000 applications have been filed since Trump became president.

On Friday, administration officials said the president is weighting whether to allow the program to just expire or to cut it immediately. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday that the program “continues to be under review.”

Trump in April backed away from his harsh campaign rhetoric promising to deport anyone in the U.S. without permission, telling the Associated Press that he would prioritize the deportation of criminals. DACA recipients should “rest easy,” Trump said, adding that he would handle the program with “heart.”

Ten state attorneys general and one governor have threatened to sue the federal government if the program is not allowed to lapse on Sept. 5.

With that deadline looming, groups across the country are mobilizing to save DACA.

Locally, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and the California Dream Network (CDN), in collaboration with young undocumented immigrants, their families and supporters today kicked off “Rise Up 4 DACA,” a series of actions taking place daily through Friday in a variety of locations throughout m Los Angeles County.

Coalition members started activities rolling this morning by putting up banners and posters at Los Angeles Street overpass of 101 Freeway, followed by a young people’s meeting with Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. at the UCLA Labor Center.

At the meeting, Harris, vowed to fight for DACA’s survival.

“We will fight to keep the spirit behind DACA alive and to keep the word that was spoken in connection with DACA alive and true,” Harris said.

The young people are also scheduled to later today visit U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez’ office in Norwalk.

The banner and poster drops will be repeated Tuesday and Thursday, while a “Save DACA” phone marathon to the White House will be held daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CHIRLA Call Center on West Third Street.

Other activities include a caravan to Sacramento in support of DACA and SB 638, the anti-fraud immigration consultant bill and a large rally in support of DACA Friday morning in front of the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles.
Contains information from City News Service.

 

 

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