California DREAMing: Two Young Latinas Graduating as DACA Students Question Their Future by NIRMA HASTY

By Nirma Hasty

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Lizbeth Contreras, a high school senior and Itzel Guillen, a college senior, have mapped out their career and education futures.

Nonetheless, their graduations are filled with uncertainty even though they have temporary reprieves from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program. Lizbeth, 17, crossed the border from Mexico to San Diego with her mom at the age of 3. Itzel, 22, arrived in the U.S. when she was 4.

“Being Mexican, you wait for your (15th birthday) because of your quinceañera. But I was waiting to become 15 because I knew that then, I could finally apply to DACA,” said Lizbeth.

Since former President Barack Obama authorized DACA in 2012, some 800,000 teens and young adults, many who have grown up in the U.S., have been able to remain in the country, work and go to college. In some states, the program has also allowed them to qualify for scholarships or get driver’s licenses.

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Sanctuary cities: Model leadership to ensure safety of most vulnerable

By Pedro Rios

Cities and counties around the country are taking the audacious step of declaring their municipal governments sanctuaries to demonstrate solidarity with immigrants and refugees who reside within their jurisdictions. The bold declarations are necessary and responsible actions that respond to the uncertainty of increased threats by President Donald Trump about targeting immigrants and refugees for mass deportation. But really, sanctuary cities are an extension of the obligation that elected officials have of ensuring the safety and well-being of their constituents.

San Diego Unified to Trump: Spare Our Undocumented Students

A resolution reaffirming the values of peace, tolerance and respect for multiple perspectives was adopted unanimously Tuesday night by the San Diego Unified School Board less than a month after Donald Trump was elected president.

The resolution was sparked by fears felt by some district students that Trump’s election would lead to the deportation of some students, their families and friends, who may be in the U.S. illegally, according to district officials.

California legislators challenge Trump anti-immigrant agenda

OAKLAND, Calif. – As their new two-year legislative session opened Dec. 5, members of California’s state Senate and Assembly moved quickly to build on post-election initiatives to protect and uphold the rights of the state’s undocumented immigrants.

A 2015 study by the Public Policy Institute of California estimated California’s undocumented population at 2.67 million, or nearly a quarter of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., and said they make up just over 6 percent of the state’s population. Other estimates put the figure at around 2.3 million.

Dick Durbin, Lindsey Graham Unveil Bill To Stop Donald Trump From Ending Protections For Dreamers

WASHINGTON ― Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) unveiled legislation on Friday to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation under President-elect Donald Trump ― now the question is whether it will work.

The bill, called the Bridge Act, would effectively maintain the protections of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACAMore than 740,000 young people were granted deportation reprieve and work permits under the program, but could now lose those protections, should Trump follow through on a promise to end DACA immediately upon taking office.

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Opinion: DACA Can Spell Hope for Many Undocumented Immigrants

By Leonard Novarro

For most, leaving the house is as normal as putting on a pair of shoes. But for Ruben Espino of San Diego, stepping into the world outside his home was a stumbling block that might never end.

“I could not go out of the house without fear” of being stopped, arrested or deported, said Espino during a roundtable discussion in San Diego last week focusing on how many undocumented immigrants can recapture control of their lives. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in short, DACA, an executive action by President Obama in 2012, allows many immigrants trying to pass under the radar to realistically navigate a path toward American citizenship — or, at the very least, thwart deportation. While the program doesn’t put immigrants on that path directly, it at least can get them started in the right direction.

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