L.A. County to Ban Travel to States Opposing DACA

Today the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion that bans county employees from official travel to nine states that have opposed the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

A motion introduced by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn also called for the Board of Supervisors to send letters to President Trump and congressional leadership in support of DACA as well as urging California Governor Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to shield California DACA recipients.

“From the federal to the state to the local level, we’re reaching across the region and across California to do everything possible to protect our vulnerable youth,” Solis said.

There are nearly 800,000 DACA recipients in the country, and more than 100,000 in Los Angeles County according to estimates of some speakers at the meeting. According to the motion, this “ill-advised and inhumane move” could cost the country $460.3 billion in GDP as well as reduce Social Security and Medicare contributions by $24.6 billion.

The motion calls President Trump’s decision a “cruel exercise of Presidential authority aimed at nearly 800,000 of the most vulnerable young people around us, including 214,000 who reside in California.”

In 2012, the Obama administration enacted DACA to allow undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children to get driver’s licenses, attend college, legally obtain jobs and even pay taxes.

In June, 10 attorneys general from 10 states sent a letter to President Donald Trump threatening to take legal action unless the administration ended DACA and gave him a deadline of September 5. (Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery withdrew his support for the letter in early September.)

Trump ended the DACA program last week, though he called on Congress to create a legislative solution by the time the program is phased out on March 5, 2018.

The travel ban prohibits travel for county business for one year to the nine states who opposed DACA. The motion does excuse trips for emergency purposes, such as for humanitarian work, when it concerns the safety and well-being of children and some work by the Sherriff’s Department.

The motion comes as other officials in the state are moving to oppose Trump’s decision to abolish DACA.

Today, the California legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown agreed to set aside $30 million for the legal services and financial aid for DACA recipients in California.

Yesterday, the state of California, along with 15 other states including New York and Washington, filed a lawsuit suing the Trump administration for ending DACA. Led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the lawsuit argues that terminating DACA is unconstitutional, violates rights to due process and will injure the state’s economy.

At today’s meeting, L.A. County supervisors agreed to file amicus briefs, or “friend of the court briefs,” in support of the state’s lawsuit to keep DACA in place.

The supervisors also voted to make immigration one of its major county priorities, along with child protection, reform of the Sheriff’s Department, integration of county health services, addressing homelessness and environmental oversight.

Jeremy Loudenback contributed to this story.

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Stephanie Pham
About Stephanie Pham 16 Articles
Stephanie is a summer fellow for The Chronicle of Social Change and Fostering Media Connections as part of Stanford University's Haas Center for Public Service fellowship program.