City Council sending letter to Congress in support of DACA
YAKIMA, Wash. – Yakima City Council is sending a revised letter expressing their support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA).
DACA allows people illegally brought into the country under the age of 16, a two-year deferred deportation.
Yakima Councilwoman Dulce Gutierrez, who co-sponsored the letter, said city council came up with the idea over a month ago when they felt they needed to take a public stance. Council members were hoping to send the letter before President Donald Trump made a decision on the program, but they didn’t get it out in time.
“We were all surprised by the timing of it all as well as disappointed in terms of not being able to get our opinion through this letter sent out to the president, but there is still opportunity,” she said.
President Trump voted on Tuesday to end DACA and is giving Congress six months to replace the program with a more permanent law.
Gutierrez said it was important for city council to show their support because of the large population of immigrants in Yakima.
“We have a large labor force that is made up of immigrants and immigrant families and its really one of the strongest basis of labor forces we have, that holds up our economy, particularly the agriculture industry here,” she said.
But some Yakima community members oppose DACA and are in support of President Trump’s decision and shared their comments online.
City council initially addressed the letter to President Trump directly but Gutierrez said they decided they would rather address the letter to Congress, so they will send it to the House and Senate to take action.
Gutierrez said the letter just needs final approval from city council members before they send it out and that vote is expected to take place at their next business meeting in about two weeks.