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Santa Monica City Council Poised to Help DACA Fundraising


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By Lookout Staff

September 21, 2017 -- Concerned about the fate of hundreds of local college and public school students potentially impacted by the end of DACA, the City Council is poised to allocate up to $25,000 in matching funds to help the students remain protected from deportation.

In a motion on Tuesday’s agenda, the council would contribute the money to either the Santa Monica College Foundation’s emergency fundraising drive or “other appropriate nonprofits” trying to help pay the $505 renewal fee per student due October 5 for DACA students.

The matching funds would be an effort “to assure that all Santa Monica DACA students who qualify can afford the fee to renew their DACA status,” and remain in the Santa Monica community for another two years, according to the motion.

About half of the estimated 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” -- young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents –- effected by the decision are in California.

Education officials estimate that more than 1,000 of those students attend the college and local public schools ("More than 1,000 Santa Monica Students Could be Affected by Decision to End DACA," September 6, 2017).

President Trump has said he is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (the formal name for DACA) program approved by executive order during the Obama years.

The White House is giving Congress, which failed to pass a law under Obama, six months to write new immigration law to resolve the dilemma of those covered under the program. It is unclear what would happen if Congress fails to act.

Although Trump is reportedly reaching a compromise with Democrats to save DACA, educators and others are worried Santa Monica’s students and their families won’t be able to pay so quickly if the renewal date and fee remain intact.

The Santa Monica College Foundation has pledged $15,000 to the a new DACA fund and will match contributions ("Emergency Fundraising Drive Started for Santa Monica College DACA Students," September 13, 2017).

Mayor Winterer, Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis and Council Member Kevin McKeown are questing the money.

The motion also puts the council on record as supporting permanent legalization for DACA students and directs staff to convey the stance to federal and state representatives.


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