WATSONVILLE, Calif. - UPDATE 9/26/2017 8:27 p.m.: Watsonville city leaders unanimously pass resolution to become a "dreamers city."
Council members voted on the resolution late Tuesday night. Watsonville joines Santa Cruz who approved a similar resolution earlier Tuesday.
UPDATE 9/26/2017 5:30 p.m.:
Cities across the Central Coast are now taking a stand in support of dreamers.
Last week, both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties passed resolutions declaring themselves “dreamers counties,” in support of undocumented youth brought to the United States as children. Early September, President Donald Trump announced he would end DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in six months.
State numbers show there are more than 230,000 undocumented youth in California eligible to apply for legal work permits or go to school. Cities believe it could be a billion dollar bust for the national and state economies and are addressing the hot button topic.
"You know the students came here, they were brought here, they didn't make the decision and so now we have a presidency that wants to remove them and punish them for something they never did and so we're here to say we want to stand united with the dreamers," said Watsonville City Council Member Felipe Hernandez.
On Tuesday, the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously passed a resolution declaring itself a “dreamers city,” and the Watsonville City Council is looking to do the same.
In the coming weeks, Greenfield, King City and Soledad will discuss steps they will take, whether it’s declaring themselves dreamers cities or sending letters of support for dreamers.
According to King City Mayor Mike LeBarre, the council did not have a “Dreamers City Resolution” on the agenda Tuesday night.
Instead, the council agreed to move forward with letters to lawmakers to vote for legislation that allows dreamers to stay without fear of deportation.
Watsonville’s resolution would state the city’s support for dreamers and tell the federal government they should pass the Dream Act.
"The resolution means a lot,” said Watsonville Mayor Oscar Rios. They go on history, they do on the record of what we stand for. So for the dreamers, it's the same. We're saying to the country, we stand with the dreamers because we the council here feel this is unjust what they're doing to these children."
Yesica Guiterrez is a Cabrillo College student and a DACA recipient. She said she’s happy more communities are showing support for the program.
"A lot of us are scared and we don't know what's going to happen and if we don't have that support, we'd be more scared,” Guiterrez said. “We're not going to go out there to ask questions to look for help and all that, so. For me personally, it's like, I know I'm not alone, I know I can come to school every day and I'm going to be ok."
An important deadline for DACA recipients is right around the corner. This, as communities across the Central Coast take a stand in support of Dreamers.
Tuesday, the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously approved a resolution declaring itself a “Dreamers City.”
Watsonville is taking up the topic Tuesday night.
In the coming weeks, Greenfield, Soledad and King City will be discussing the topic as well. Government numbers show there are more than 230,000 undocumented youth to apply for legal work permits and go to school.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump declared an end to “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” in six months.
Cities believe it could be a billion dollar bust for the American and state economy. Watsonville’s mayor believes the resolution is more than just a symbol.
"The resolution means a lot. They go on history, they go on the record of what we stand for. So for the dreamers, it's the same. We're saying to the country, we stand with the dreamers because we the council here feel this is unjust what they're doing to these children,” said Mayor Oscar Rios.
Both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties passed “Dreamers County,” resolutions earlier this month. Despite that, city leaders said this passage shows more strength and support for dreamers.
KION’S Mariana Hicks has more at 5 and 6 p.m.