The Taos County Board of Commissioners will vote Thursday (Oct. 5) on a resolution in support of a federal program that offered young, undocumented people a path to citizenship.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), as the program is known, "is an important Obama-era presidential policy that support undocumented [youth]," the resolution reads.
DACA provides temporary amnesty for those under 31 years old as of June 2012 and who were in the U.S. with no legal status before their 16th birthday. President Donald Trump announced the end of DACA in September. Unless Congress acts to solidify the program, the program will end in early 2018.
"The [commissioners] encourage efforts by Congress to create formal legislation to contiure and trength DACA," the resolution reads. There's strong support for a long-term version of DACA among New Mexico's congressional delegation.
There are about 800,000 "dreamers," as young people enrolled in DACA are called, in the United States. Jose Gonzalez, a local educator who has been organizing legal support and information sessions for the immigrant community in Taos, suggested the number of DACA recipeints could be "in the hundreds."
"Taos has been these students' home since Day 1. They know no other home," said
The Taos County Commission passed a resolution earlier this year in support of immigrants. It reiterated the county's policy of not assisting federal immigration authorities in deportations or detention of immigrants. The support from local elected officials was significant given Taos' changing demographics - 180 percent growth in the Mexican population in the last decade, for example.
The county commission will meet at 9 a.m. for their regular meeting at the Taos County Administrative/Judicial Complex at 105 Albright St., Taos.