Aurora lawmakers send DACA support bill to committee for study
AURORA | The Aurora City Council decided Monday night to hold back a resolution that would have been a nod to federal policy that provides some protections to young immigrants brought to the US illegally, commonly known as DACA.
Instead of a vote taking place, the resolution, proposed by Councilman Charlie Richardson, was sent to the Management and Finance Committee for “further development,” even though it is not binding and doesn’t require any action on behalf of the city.
Congress has been tasked with finding a permanent fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals measure after the Trump administration rescinded the Obama-era executive order last month. Many Republicans have taken issue with the policy because they believe it should have been established via an act of Congress, not the sole pen of a president.
The resolution would have also applauded Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman, a Republican, for introducing the Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow our Economy Act, which would extend DACA for three years. Most recently, Coffman cut a deal with House Speaker Paul Ryan to delay pushing the legislation to a House vote while Congress explores a permanent solution.
Ward I Councilwoman Sally Mounier requested the resolution be sent back to committee — which a majority of council members agreed with. Barb Cleland and Bob LeGare sided with Richardson to move the resolution on the chamber floor.
“I totally support a path to citizenship for the DACA kids. What I also support, though, is a total and complete immigration reform… It is time to tell Congress that we have multiple issues with immigration,” Mounier said.
A majority of city lawmakers agreed with Mounier, but faced harsh backlash from Richardson and several audience members, many of which displayed signs declaring their support for the policy.
Richardson said that voters should know where their council members stand on the issue before ballots go out for the municipal election later next month. Mounier and Marsha Berzins, both up for re-election, were in favor of sending the resolution to committee, where it will be heard September 27 at 3:30 p.m. But likely won’t be back in council until later in October.
“I would like to commit to personally making an appointment with one, two or three of our delegates and talk to them in person,” Berzins said. “We talked about writing a letter, which is pretty much the same thing (as a resolution). For some reason a letter is not what council wanted to do. So I would like to go and talk to them one-on-one.”
At the end of the meeting several audience members took to the microphone to highlight their disappointment in the council decision, some likened it to the back-and-forth the body had on declaring Aurora is not a sanctuary city earlier this year.
Then, the city would not concede to declaring itself a sanctuary city, but police officials did say it would not act as immigration police in most cases.
In a statement Coffman said he didn’t request the resolution, nor was he a part of the drafting process, but said he appreciated Richardson’s acknowledgement of DACA.
“Demonstrating the extent of community support is always important,” Coffman said.