The Coconino County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of congressional action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the regular board meeting Tuesday night.
DACA was an executive action that allowed children under the age of 16, who came to the United States with their parents, to stay in the country. Children are eligible for DACA (also known as DREAMers) if they meet specific guidelines. They can request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and are eligible for work authorization.
“The county cares deeply about the children that have established a connection to the U.S. and what we have to offer, especially considering that this is often the only home they’ve ever known,” said Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors Liz Archuleta. “It is essential we provide DACA students the support they need to find their own opportunities for success that America has founded itself on.”
Coconino County has, for several years, prioritized establishing comprehensive immigration reform to allow individuals a clearer and more concise path toward citizenship, as well as provide immigrant youth with educational opportunities as to see a more thriving community.
The recent repeal of DACA prompted the board to reemphasize the importance of protecting the rights of approximately 57,000 DACA eligible Arizonans who qualify under the act. It is estimated that DREAMers could grow the Coconino County and Arizona economy over the next 10 years.
The County Board of Supervisors officially resolved that it is their duty to advocate on behalf of DREAMers and that the U.S. Congress should take permanent action to protect them.