City, County, State Take Up Fight to Defend DACA

September 14, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

The Trump administration’s decision to end DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
initiative, has sparked a whirlwind of activity at the city, county and state level, all aimed at thwarting the president’s action and to push Congress to adopt a permanent solution for the hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

The protests and promises of legal battles is not surprising given that one in four DACA recipients – or about 200,000 of the young beneficiaries – live in California.

Speaking in Los Angeles Tuesday, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra vowed to fight the decision “on every front.”

Becerra, joined by the attorneys general for Minnesota, Maryland and Maine, filed a lawsuit Monday in San Francisco against the administration, arguing that the federal government violated the Constitution and federal laws when it moved to rescind DACA.

“The DACA initiative has allowed more than 800,000 Dreamers — children brought to this country without documentation — to come out of the shadows and become successful and productive Americans,” Becerra said following a roundtable meeting with immigration advocates in downtown Los Angeles. “I’ve never seen a time in our country when we punish kids for coming out of the
shadows.”

Last week, the University of California filed suit against the administration on grounds that the decision would violate the due process rights of thousands of immigrant UC students. That same day, Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar introduced a motion directing the city attorney to either file his own lawsuit or to join the state’s lawsuit being promised by Becerra.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles County supervisors added their voices, adopting a measure to support the lawsuits brought by other government bodies and to pursue a financial boycott of sorts of states “unfriendly” to DACA by banning county employees from traveling to those states on county business.

California’s Attorney General Tells Dreamers to Reapply

According to Becerra, with the help of the state’s 200,000 DACA recipients, California has become “the sixth largest economy in the world.”

Federal immigration officials are no longer accepting new requests for DACA, but the agency is hearing two-year DACA renewal requests received by Oct. 5 from current beneficiaries whose benefits will expire before March 5.

Flanked by representatives from immigrant rights groups, Becerra said Tuesday that financial help is available to cash-strapped Dreamers who don’t have the $495 renewal fee. “If you have the opportunity, submit your paperwork,” the attorney general said. “We don’t want anyone to be deprived of the chance to reapply.”

Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, urged recipients not to “make money an issue.”

Added Martha Arevalo, executive director of the Central American Resource Center: “Don’t let financial concerns be a reason not to reapply. We can find solutions.”

Becerra said the DACA phase-out indirectly affects millions of residents, as well as businesses, nonprofits, and the state’s towns and cities.

“We’ll do whatever we can to win,” he said.

Fifteen other states have also filed a lawsuit challenging the end of the DACA program.

UC Is First University System to Enter Legal Battle

The UC’s lawsuit filed Sept. 8 in San Francisco against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its acting secretary, Elaine Duke, is the first of its kind to be filed by a university. The lawsuit alleges the Trump administration failed to provide proper notice to the impacted population as required by law.

”As a result of the defendants’ actions, the Dreamers face expulsion from the only country that they call home, based on nothing more than unreasoned executive whim,” the complaint reads. UC President Janet Napolitano, who was secretary of DHS from 2009 to 2013, spearheaded the Obama administration’s creation of the DACA program in 2012, setting in place a rigorous application and security review process, according to the lawsuit.

Applicants for DACA were only approved if they were in or had graduated from high school or college, or were in the military, or an honorably discharged veteran. They cannot have been convicted of a felony or major misdemeanor or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.

“Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, Napolitano said. “It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community.”

The lawsuit asks the court to set aside Trump’s  action because it is “unconstitutional, unjust, and unlawful.”

L.A. Councilman Calls for City Attorney to Join Lawsuits

Roughly 100,000 DACA recipients are believed to live in the Los Angeles area. A motion introduced last week by L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar states, “These Dreamers were brought here as children and have proven themselves to be lawful residents contributing to the social fabric and diversity of the United States.” It also instructs City Attorney Mike Feuer to pursue legal action on behalf of the city to defend their presence.

When asked to comment on the motion, Feuer spokesman Rob Wilcox said, “Our office is already in discussions with other government entities on how best to maximize our impact on fighting the removal of DACA.”

County to Support Lawsuits, Boycott DACA-unfriendly States

County supervisors voted Tuesday to institute a travel ban on DACA-unfriendly states and to support legal challenges to Trump’s order ending the policy.

Supervisor Hilda Solis championed a one-year restriction on county government travel to nine states that threatened legal action to end the program, saying it could “cost the United States approximately $460 billion in GDP.”

Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia will be subject to the travel restriction, which will not apply in the case of emergency assistance for disaster relief or critical law enforcement work.

The vote was 3-1, with Supervisor Kathryn Barger dissenting and Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas abstaining, though they both support DACA and voted in favor of related measures.

The young adults nationwide affected by the administration’s action are contributing to America’s economy, not taking from it, said Sonja Diaz, founding director of UCLA’s Latino Policy & Politics Initiative.

“Ninety-one percent of DACA recipients are employed. DACA is a net positive for the U.S. economy” and ending it would cost California alone $11.3 billion,” Diaz told the board.

David Rattray, executive vice president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, promised the support of business leaders in any fight to restore the program.

Employers have invested in hiring and training so-called Dreamers and are “dumbfounded about how stupid this is, frankly,” Rattray told the board.

Barger, the only Republican on the non-partisan board, said the county should take an aggressive, hands-on role in pressing Congressional representatives to craft new legislation.

“We need to be at the table and we need to push as hard as we can,” Barger said. “This is bipartisan, this is about doing what is right,” quoting then-President Barack Obama’s 2012 remarks saying DACA was “a temporary stopgap measure” to give Congress time to act.

“Congress needs to get to work, they’ve had over five years to do it,” Barger said. “If Congress does not act in six months, shame on them.”

Ridley-Thomas proposed having county lawyers file “friend of the court” briefs in support of several states suing the Trump administration.

DACA recipients are entitled, Ridley-Thomas said, to “the right to privacy, the right to work, the right to move within the halls of government and elsewhere without wondering if someone is going to report you or snatch you.”

The vote on amicus briefs was 4-1, with Barger dissenting.

Based on Solis’ motion, the board will also send a letter to the president and Congress demanding legislative action, a move that garnered unanimous support. The board also directed the county’s Office of Immigrant Affairs to help existing DACA recipients renew their status by Oct. 5.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl introduced a motion to add immigration to a county list of policy priorities, which currently include homelessness, child protection, reform of the Sheriff’s Department, integration of county health services, and environmental oversight and monitoring.

The board’s vote in favor of the new priority was unanimous.

Condados Contra la Revocación de Obamacare

July 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Mientras el Senado se preparaba para abrir un debate sobre la derogación de la Ley del Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio, mejor conocido como Obamacare, miembros de la Junta de Supervisores del Condado de Los Ángeles acusaron el martes a los legisladores de jugar con la vida de las personas y no solicitar aportaciones de los proveedores de la atención sanitaria.

El supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas dijo que el cuidado de la salud fue un punto crítico de una reunión el pasado fin de semana de la Asociación Nacional de Condados (NACO).

“El debate sobre la salud debe ser sobre la mejoría de los resultados y no solo un ejercicio presupuestario”, dijo Ridley-Thomas, citando un amplio consenso entre los funcionarios del condado en todo el país, sin tener en cuenta la política partidista.

Si se anula a Obamacare, el Congreso creará “un cambio masivo de costos…para que los condados puedan soportar” y dado su tamaño, “el condado de Los Ángeles sería el condado más afectado,” dijo Ridley-Thomas, agregando que el condado podría perder tanto como $1 millón en financiamiento.

La supervisora Kathryn Barger, quien también asistió a la reunión de NACO y es la única republicana en la junta no partidista del condado, estuvo de acuerdo.

“Se está haciendo en Washington sin solicitar aportaciones de los proveedores,” dijo Barger. “Es la vida de la gente que está siendo jugada como un peón político”.

La votación del Senado para abrir el debate sobre la revocación fue de 51-50, con el vicepresidente Mike Pence como el desempate. El senador John McCain votó “si” a su regreso a Washington, D.C., menos de dos semanas después de someterse a una cirugía para extirpar un tumor cerebral.

Los republicanos han buscado durante mucho tiempo la derogación de la ley de salud, diciendo que ha impulsado el costo de las primas de salud y los deducibles hasta un nivel que muchos estadounidenses no pueden pagar y creó desequilibrios del mercado de seguros que no pueden sostenerse.

El presidente Donald Trump presionó al Congreso para que cumpliera su promesa de revocar la ACA en un discurso el lunes, calificando a Obamacare como “desastroso” y una “pesadilla”.

Los funcionarios del condado están particularmente preocupados por los recortes a Medicaid como resultado de una derogación, diciendo que los recortes afectarían de manera desproporcionada a las personas mayores y discapacitadas y quitarían una herramienta critica en la lucha contra la epidemia de opioides en todo el país.

Casi dos tercios de los gastos de Medicaid en 2011 beneficiaron a los discapacitados y los estadounidenses de edad avanzada, a pesar de que constituyeron menos de una cuarta parte de los inscritos del programa, de acuerdo con NACO. Estos datos son anteriores a la puesta en ACA, que amplio el acceso a Medicad.

La supervisora Hilda Solís emitió una declaración tras la votación instando a los republicanos y demócratas a trabajar juntos para encontrar una solución.

“Hay un enorme costo humano para revocar o sabotear y el Primer Distrito será particularmente golpeado si este esfuerzo que niega la salud sea exitoso”, dijo Solís. “Un estimado encontró que aproximadamente 300,000 residentes del Primer Distrito perderán su cobertura de salud, incluyendo alrededor de 50,000 niños y 16,000 ancianos. Otros 60,000 perderán su seguro patrocinado por el empleador, mientras casi 20,000 perderán su seguro a través de Covered California”.

Aunque el voto del Senado despejó el camino para el debate, sigue siendo incierto que proyecto de ley puede finalmente ser aprobado para derogar o reemplazar a Obamacare, dados los objetivos de las facciones dentro la legislatura dirigida por los republicanos.

Breves de la Comunidad

July 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

LOS ANGELES

(CNS) – Las tarjetas Metro TAP de edición limitada que celebran la candidatura olímpica de Los Ángeles están disponibles en estaciones selectas, anunció la agencia el viernes.

Las tarjetas cuentan con los mundos “Listo para dar la bienvenida al mundo”, e incluyen fotos de opciones de transporte público que los visitantes podrían usar para viajar entre lugares potenciales.

“Los Ángeles tiene la mira puesta en los Juegos Olímpicos y Paralímpicos, y ahora, los pilotos del Metro pueden mostrar su espíritu olímpico cada vez que TAP”, dijo el alcalde Eric Garcetti. “Cuando decimos que estamos ‘listos para dar la bienvenida al mundo’, significa que estamos listos para aprovechar nuestras inversiones históricas en transporte público, para que podamos conectar a los aficionados con parques deportivos de manera rápida y asequible y aliviar la congestión del tráfico en toda la ciudad, al igual que lo hicimos durante los Juegos de 1984”.

Los Ángeles está compitiendo con París para los Juegos de 2024, aunque el Comité Olímpico Internacional espera que la semana próxima apruebe un plan para premiar los Juegos 2024 y 2028 simultáneamente en su reunión en Lima, Perú, en septiembre.

“Metro ya tiene una red de tránsito grande y robusta, y en 2024 planeamos agregar casi 20 millas de nuevo servicio ferroviario a nuestro sistema”, dijo el gerente general de Metro, Phillip A. Washington. “Estas líneas ya están en construcción hoy. Estaremos listos para transportar a los espectadores de manera cómoda y eficiente con el sistema de tránsito interconectado de Metro que sirve a todos los lugares deportivos olímpicos y paralímpicos”.

 

LOS ANGELES

(CNS) – Buenas noticias para los amantes de los perros del condado de Los Ángeles. La Junta de Supervisores ha acordado aumentar el número de perros que los residentes pueden poseer de tres a cuatro.

El Departamento de Cuidado y Control de Animales del condado dice que el aumento del límite les dará a los perros sin hogar oportunidades adicionales de encontrar hogares amorosos e permanentes y de reducir la falta de vivienda en el condado de Los Ángeles.

El aumento fue propuesto por las supervisoras Kathryn Barger y Hilda Solís y aprobando por unanimidad.

 

CITY OF TERRANCE

(CNS) – Las autoridades dieron a conocer el nombre de un hombre que murió cuando su auto se estrelló contra un gran aparejo estacionada en el área de City Terrace del condado.

Joseph Rodríguez-González, de 25 años, murió en la escena del accidente, ocurrido alrededor de las 5:25 de la mañana el domingo en la avenida North Ditman y la calle Marengo, dijo el jefe asistente Ed Winter el domingo.

Rodríguez-González conducía un Audi A4 negro en la dirección oeste en la calle Marengo cuando perdió el control del auto por razones desconocidas, “dando lugar a que la parte delantera del vehículo colisionará con la parte trasera de una combinación de tractor-remolque estacionada a lo largo de la acera norte de la calle Marengo”, según un comunicado de la Patrulla de Carreteras

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