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Santa Monica Council Calls for Implementation of Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

March 4, 2016 -- A case headed to the U.S. Supreme Court that will determine the validity of President Obama’s use of executive action and the fate of millions of people living in the United States illegally has a Santa Monica connection.

The City Council on Tuesday authorized Santa Monica to join other municipalities in an amicus brief supporting the president’s executive action on illegal immigration.

This action, known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), would allow illegal immigrants who are parents of natural citizens or legal permanent residents to receive work permits and not be deported.

“Everything about Santa Monica’s long-standing commitment to fairness, diversity, social justice and protecting families argued that we be part of this defense of President Obama’s immigration program,” City Council member Kevin McKeown wrote in an email to The Lookout.

He continued, “I had signed on as an individual last year while I was mayor and I’m proud we’ve now made official our support as a city.”

President Obama announced his executive action plan in November 2014. A coalition of 26 states led by Texas soon filed a lawsuit challenging the move.

A federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary injunction in February 2015 that called off DAPA while the case went through the court system.

A divided Court of Appeals panel upheld the injunction later in the year. The City of Santa Monica and more than 70 other municipalities signed onto an amicus brief in favor of the president for that hearing.

The Supreme Court agreed last month to hear the case.

The amicus brief is being prepared by municipal attorneys working for the cities of New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Birmingham, according to the website of the activist group Cities for Action, which encourages others to sign on.

This is not the first time the Santa Monica council has taken action on an issue involving the controversial topic of illegal immigration.

The council voted in 2010 for a boycott that ended most government business dealings with Arizona because of that state’s passage of an aggressive illegal immigration enforcement measure (See “Council Member Calls for Santa Monica Boycott of Arizona,” May 21, 2010 ).

The Santa Monica College Board of Trustees and the SMMUSD Board of Education soon followed with Arizona boycotts of their own (See “College Board Votes for Arizona Boycott, Student Member Opposes,” June 3, 2010).

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