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L.A. County Approves Official Travel Restrictions To States That Threatened Legal Action Against DACA
On Tuesday—a week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration's plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—the L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved a ban on official county travel to the nine states that opposed the DACA program. Los Angeles County is home to more DACA recipients than any other county in the nation.
The one-year travel restriction, which goes into effect immediately, applies to several county departments. It prohibits official travel for county employees to the nine states (Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, West Virginia) that threatened legal action unless the Trump administration phased out DACA. Exceptions would be made for emergency response and assistance, matters related to the Department of Children and Family Services, Probation, District Attorney, Public Defender, Alternate Public Defender, and any other legally required matters as specifically authorized by the Chief Executive Office, according to the motion.
"We shouldn't be sending people to conferences in their states," Supervisor Solis said at a press conference last Tuesday. "When you're going to punish our people—because I represent a lot of DACA families and students—then guess what, it's time for people like us who do have a position of authority to say, 'It's got to stop.'"
The travel restriction comes as part of a motion that was introduced by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Hilda Solis last Tuesday, just hours after the decision to formally repeal DACA was announced (the motion was issued in response to the DACA decision).
The motion, which was approved Tuesday, does a number of things beyond implementing the travel restriction. It directs the County Office of Immigrant Affairs to conduct outreach efforts to current DACA recipients to assist them in renewing their status before October 5, 2017, and to provide ongoing updates to L.A. County residents regarding their legal rights. The motion also directs the Office of Immigrant Affairs to work with County counsel to explore immigration relief and residency options for County employees who are DACA recipients.
Carlos, a staffer in Supervisor Janice Hahn’s office who is a DACA recipient, spoke in favor of the motion at Tuesday's meeting.
“As a DACA recipient, I have been able to continue my education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree and developing my professional career,” he said. “Being a DREAMer has allowed me to find my voice within our community. DACA has allowed DREAMers to excel in school, create thriving businesses, serve in our military, and start families. All of this was possible because DREAMers, like all other Americans, were allowed to pursue their goals.”