L.A. Council Votes to Join Legal Fight to Block Trump on Immigration

January 18, 2018 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles City Council took several actions Wednesday in opposition to the Trump administration’s immigration policies, including directing the city attorney to take legal action to try to stop the cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The council voted 12-0 to authorize City Attorney Mike Feuer to file an amicus brief in support of the California Attorney General’s lawsuit against the termination of the DACA program. The motion was altered in an amendment from its original language that called on the city to file its own lawsuit or join the California lawsuit.

“It’s shameful and immoral that our federal government is debating this,” Councilman Joe Buscaino said before the vote. “Let’s send a message to the federal government and reiterate the importance that immigrants make this community and this country an amazing place to live and work.”

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have been working to negotiate a new DACA deal to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants who were brought to America as children, but the talks have stalled and a federal government shutdown is possible if an agreement cannot be reached.

DACA was rescinded by President Donald Trump in September, but he gave lawmakers six months to come up with a new deal. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined a lawsuit by the attorneys general of the states of Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, as well as the University of California and other plaintiffs, and obtained a preliminary injunction last week against the Trump administration over the move to end DACA, which was created by then-President Barack Obama by executive order.

“As I’ve said before, we will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion — but through the lawful Democratic process — while at the same time ensuring that any immigration reform we adopt provides enduring benefits for the American citizens we were elected to serve,” Trump said in a statement in September.

Councilman Gil Cedillo, who chairs the council’s Immigrant Affairs, Civil Rights and Equity Committee, seconded the resolution introduced by Councilman Jose Huizar.

Cedillo took the opportunity to publicly criticize Trump, who during a recent meeting with congressional leaders about immigration issues, reportedly asked why the United States should accept immigrants from “shithole” countries like Haiti and in Africa rather than places like Norwa

“It’s embarrassing. The `s-hole countries’ and all the comments related to that indicate that the attacks on DACA and the immigrant community that were first expressed as he began his campaign still remain the underlying basis for the policy from the administration,” Cedillo said. “That is not a way to run a nation. That is not what we are about.”

The council also approved — on a 12-0 vote — a resolution asking the city attorney to report on litigation options against the termination of the Temporary Protected Status Program, which offers a provisional reprieve from deportation to citizens of some countries. The resolution, which was altered in an amendment, had originally sought to support legislative or administrative action that would extend the TPS Program.

The Trump administration announced earlier this month that it was canceling the TPS status for immigrants from El Salvador in 2019, and the council voted 13-0 in approval of a second resolution officially opposing the move.

On a 13-0 vote,  the council approved a new immigration program that will facilitate a connection between lawyers and individuals interested in obtaining letters of representation to aid them when they are being questioned by immigration officials.

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