The Carrboro Board of Alderman unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday asking the town manager to identify funds and possibly funding partners to support El Centro Hispano in its work to assist Carrboro DACA recipients.
Earlier this month, the administration of President Donald Trump announced plans to terminate DACA, a program implemented by former President Barack Obama that gave 800,000 young undocumented immigrants two-year renewable permits to stay and work in the country legally.
The Department of Homeland Security is no longer accepting initial requests for DACA and DACA renewal requests are only being accepted until October 5 of this year and only from DACA recipients whose benefits expire between September 5, 2017, and March 5, 2018.
According to the resolution passed by the Board of Alderman, the filing fee to request DACA is $495 and cannot be waived.
The resolution goes on to state that “market-rate legal services are unaffordable to many persons, even those above the federal poverty limit” and that “the harshening of federal immigration policy and the coarsening of rhetoric about immigrants by public officials at state and federal levels may result in an increasingly urgent need for legal services and other forms of assistance for immigrant communities.”
The board is asking the town manager to cover costs related to the rescission of DACA, such as staff time required to provide services to beneficiaries, renewal fees for beneficiaries whose benefits will expire and referral to legal services, and to make space available in Town Hall and other town facilities for information sessions on the DACA program and for attorneys to meet with clients to prepare DACA renewal requests.
The resolution also asks the town clerk to publicize the contents of the resolution with relevant community organizations and to share the resolution with the chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners; the mayors of the Town of Chapel Hill and the Town of Hillsborough; the chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education; and the executive director of the North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Coalition
Approximately one in five residents of Carrboro were born outside the United States, and the resolution states that “it is essential to the public health, safety, and welfare that all residents of Carrboro be safe and secure, regardless of their national origin or immigration status.”
Residents who are affected by the changes to DACA should contact the town manager or El Centro Hispano for assistance.