Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Border & Immigration

San Diego Council Passes Resolution Supporting Deferred Deportations

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution supporting programs that defer deportations of children living in the U.S. illegally and parents under certain conditions, and calling on Congress to enact more permanent solutions.

Backers of the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans programs told the council members that they prevent the separation of families — in instances where a father, mother or child is caught by immigration authorities and deported.

An expansion of DACA and implementation of DAPA have been held up by a lawsuit filed by 26 states that contend President Barack Obama overstepped his authority. Also, Congress has not enacted comprehensive immigration reform despite numerous calls for an overhaul of the system.


DACA allows immigrants who came to the U.S. in their youth to remain in this country for two years if they're in school or graduated, or an armed forces veteran, and have been law-abiding. The program includes certain time frames and age requirements that must be met.

DAPA allows parents living in the country illegally to remain in the U.S. temporarily if their children are citizens or lawful permanent residents.

"These programs, although temporary, are a solution to keeping families together," said Christian Ramirez, a member of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium who helped draft the resolution. "These folks are the folks we pray with, who we play sports with, they are loved ones, our neighbors. These are the people who make our city America's finest."

San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald said she thinks adding San Diego's voice to the international debate on DAPA and the expansion of DACA is important because "we are perched on the busiest border crossing in the world."

"We stand for family in San Diego, regardless of where those families hail or their status under a broken immigration system," Emerald said.


Eva Luna, a 45-year-old immigrant from Veracruz, Mexico who spoke during the public comment period, said she stands to benefit from DAPA and is the mother of a 13-year-old U.S. citizen son and three daughters who qualified for DACA.

"(The programs) represent better opportunities and a better quality of life," Luna said. "My children and I try to offer the best of ourselves by working hard."

The resolution notes that San Diego is a diverse city with immigrants and refugees from many parts of the world, and that families should be allowed to stay together.

It concludes, "Be it resolved, that the council of the city of San Diego supports deferred action for childhood arrivals and parents of American citizens and legal permanent residents, and strongly urges the 114th U.S. Congress to immediately enact legislation which would present a more permanent solution."

The cities of Lemon Grove and Chula Vista recently approved similar resolutions, as did the Sweetwater Unified School District Board of Education and the Southwestern Community College District Board.

Corrected: June 30, 2022 at 5:52 PM PDT
KPBS reporter Jean Guerrero contributed to this report.