SANTA FE CITY COUNCIL PASSES RESOLUTION SUPPORTING PRESIDENT'S IMMIGRATION
EXECUTIVE ACTION; BACKS CITYWIDE INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE LOW-COST LEGAL
SERVICES TO APPLICANTS
May 27, 2015
Santa Fe--The Santa Fe City Council unanimously passed a resolution on Wednesday night supporting President Obama's immigration executive action that would provide three-year work permits and relief from deportation to millions of undocumented immigrant families in the US. As the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals this week decided to uphold a temporary injunction against the Deferred Action for Parents of US Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, the council not only expressed its support for DAPA, but also for a citywide collaborative initiated by the Somos Un Pueblo Unido's United Worker Center, Catholic Charities of Northern New Mexico and the Santa Fe Public Schools Adelante Program that would streamline low-cost legal services to applicants of DAPA.
Gabriela Ibáñez Guzmán, the United Worker Center’s staff attorney said: "The Republican-led Texas lawsuit against the President's executive action is a temporary setback for our communities and our local economies, but we are confident that our movement and this program will eventually prevail.”
The resolution was cosponsored by Mayor Gonzales and Councilors Bushee, Ives, and Maestas. Last month, the Mayor also signed onto an amicus brief with 126 other mayors opposing the Texas lawsuit. Veronica Velásquez, a member of Somos' United Worker Center has lived in Santa Fe for more than ten years, has a six-year old US Citizen child, and has worked in the city's restaurant industry with her husband since immigrating from Michoacán, Mexico. She said on Wednesday: "With DAPA, we will keep investing in this community, providing for our family, and paying taxes. Immigration reform is something we've long fought for. It's a fight for our families and for basic fairness. We won't give up."
An estimated four to five thousand residents in Santa Fe are expected to qualify for DAPA or expanded DACA. The majority are between 18 and 44 years old (55%), have resided in Santa Fe for more than 10 years, have paid income and gross receipts taxes in the city and the state, and are an essential part of the local workforce and business community. "This will have a significant impact on Santa Fe's local economy, increasing wages and buying power, expanding the city and county tax bases, and creating more locally-based businesses,” said María Cristina López, Vice-chairperson of the City’s Immigration Committee.
“President Obama has the legal authority - and moral obligation - to take action to keep families together. Every president since Dwight Eisenhower has taken executive action on immigration,” said Melissa Molina, Immigration Director for Catholic Charities. “This is an example of what the American people want from their elected officials - courage and action to take practical steps for the prosperity of our nation.” "Many of Adelante's families experience homelessness due to the inability to find consistent, legal, decent work, and that means DAPA is a game changer,” said Gaile Herling, Executive Director of the Santa Fe Public Schools Adelante Program. “The collaborative initiated by Somos, Catholic Charities and SFPS Adelante Program is getting ready to provide much needed services the minute that DAPA will be available, and the City's resolution sends a positive, supportive message to the thousands who will be able to take advantage of this humane, intelligent policy."