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At the September 12, 2017 Board of Aldermen meeting, the Board passed a resolution asking the town manager to identify funds and, if possible, funding partners to support El Centro Hispano in its work to assist Carrboro residents who are DACA beneficiaries. Residents who are affected by the changes to DACA should contact the town manager or El Centro Hispano for assistance.
The full resolution is below.
A motion was made by Alderman Seils, seconded by Alderman Chaney to approve the resolution below:
A RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE TOWN MANAGER TO IDENTIFY FUNDS AND TO TAKE OTHER STEPS TO ASSIST CARRBORO RESIDENTS WHO ARE BENEFICIARIES OF DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVALS (DACA)
WHEREAS, the Town of Carrboro has long shown support for immigrant communities by calling for comprehensive reform of immigration law and policy, working to defeat wage theft, and supporting training and outreach programs for immigrant workers; and
WHEREAS, on March 5, 2013, the Board of Aldermen approved a resolution in support of the federal Uniting American Families Act, noting that an important goal of federal immigration policy is to facilitate family reunification and to enable families and individuals to reside legally in the United States; and
WHEREAS, on June 10, 2014, the Board of Aldermen approved a resolution noting that support of immigrant communities is critical to preserving our legacy as a nation of immigrants, and establishing Immigrant Heritage Month every June thereafter in Carrboro; and
WHEREAS, on November 18, 2014, the Board of Aldermen approved a resolution declaring Carrboro to be a welcoming community for minors seeking refuge from violence in their home countries, and urging the federal government to ensure that those seeking safety in the United States receive due process and legal representation; and
WHEREAS, approximately 1 in 5 residents of Carrboro were born outside the United States, and it is essential to the public health, safety, and welfare that all residents of Carrboro be safe and secure, regardless of their national origin or immigration status; and
WHEREAS, on June 15, 2012, the US Department of Homeland Security established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides to certain immigrants who entered the United States before the age of 16 years a two-year renewable period of deferred action on deportation and eligibility to request employment authorization; and
WHEREAS, approximately 800,000 immigrants have benefited from DACA, including more than 22,000 current beneficiaries who reside in North Carolina, the eighth highest number in the nation; and
WHEREAS, on September 5, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that the Department of Homeland Security will initiate a phaseout of the DACA program; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security is no longer accepting initial requests for DACA and will only adjudicate DACA renewal requests received by October 5, 2017, from beneficiaries whose benefits expire between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018; and
WHEREAS, the filing fee to request DACA is $495 and cannot be waived; and
WHEREAS, DACA beneficiaries whose benefits expire after March 5, 2018, are ineligible for renewal and may be subject to deportation; and
WHEREAS, market-rate legal services are unaffordable to many persons, even those above the federal poverty limit, so many must rely on nonprofit service providers; and
WHEREAS, the harshening of federal immigration policy and the coarsening of rhetoric about immigrants by public officials at state and federal levels may result in an increasingly urgent need for legal services and other forms of assistance for immigrant communities; and
WHEREAS, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has joined attorneys general from 14 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit challenging the rescission of DACA;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
SECTION 1. The Board of Aldermen asks the town manager to identify funds and, if possible, funding partners to support El Centro Hispano in its work to assist Carrboro residents who are DACA beneficiaries with costs related to the rescission of DACA, including but not limited to staff time required to provide services to beneficiaries; renewal fees for beneficiaries whose benefits will expire by March 5, 2018; and referral to legal services.
SECTION 2. The Board of Aldermen asks the manager to make space available in Town Hall and other Town facilities, as needed, for information sessions on the DACA program and for attorneys to meet with clients to prepare DACA renewal requests and to provide related legal services pro bono.
SECTION 3. The Board of Aldermen asks the manager to report to the Board the details of the implementation of this resolution and to make recommendations for its implementation, including any budget amendments that may be required, no later than September 19, 2017.
SECTION 4. The Board of Aldermen asks the town clerk to publicize the contents of this resolution as soon as is practicable, including but not limited to sharing it with relevant community organizations, such as El Centro Hispano, the Refugee Community Partnership, and others that the clerk may identify; disseminating it to news media outlets; and posting it on the Town website, email distribution lists, and social media.
SECTION 5. The Board of Aldermen asks the clerk to share this resolution with the chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners; the mayors of the Town of Chapel Hill and the Town of Hillsborough; the chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education; and the executive director of the North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Coalition.
This the 12th day of September 2017.
Ayes: Alderman Seils, Alderman Slade, Alderman Chaney, Mayor Lavelle, Alderman Gist, Alderman Haven-O’Donnell