Monterey County declares itself a "Dreamers County"

Sep 14, 2017

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution Tuesday to support California’s “Dreamers” and recipients of the federal Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

Last week, President Trump announced the repeal of the DACA program over a period of six months.

Monterey County’s resolution to declare itself a “Dreamers County” was proposed by District 1 Supervisor Luis Alejo. The resolution, which was sent to President Trump as well as California’s federal representatives, calls upon the lawmakers to “act swiftly through legislative action to continue and codify Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals.”

The resolution was unanimously supported by the rest of the Monterey County Board.

The resolution reads, in part, "Whereas, the elimination of the DACA Program will result in a reduction in the American workforce and the reduction of nation’s economic growth for our nation at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars over the first 10 years and a gross domestic product loss of over $11 billion a year in California...the State of California and the County of Monterey are better served when all of our best and brightest students seek seek a higher education and pursue their careers, rather than remaining in the shadows."

“I express some concerns about taking on the federal government’s decisions unless they impact our community,” District 2 Supervisor John Phillips said. “And I didn’t think they did before. But this, I think, does impact our community.”

During the public comment period before the approval of the resolution, most speakers, including a DACA recipient, supported it.

DACA was enacted in 2012 by President Obama. It allowed 230,000 undocumented residents in California who entered the country as minors to receive legal work permits, and avoid deportation. The term “Dreamers” comes from California's DREAM Act of 2011. The law awarded state grants for higher education to over 20,000 California students since it took effect in 2013. DREAM stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors.

A 2011 Public Policy Institute of California report said that Monterey and San Benito counties tied for the highest percentage of undocumented residents per county in California.