AURORA | Aurora City Council members are once again considering and delaying a resolution that would support federal policy that provides some protections to young immigrants brought to the US illegally.
It’s the fourth immigration-related resolution the council has been working on since late September, when Councilman Charlie Richardson submitted to city council the first symbolic measure backing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, also known as DACA.
After Councilwoman Sally Mounier requested the first resolution be sent back to a committee, two more resolutions were drafted by the city attorney’s office. One was a revised “short” version, which mostly focused on DACA. The other was dubbed the longer version and was intended to support immigration reform as a whole.
At Monday’s city council meeting, neither resolution got enough council votes to continue on to a full city council meeting where a final vote would take place. Even if they had, however, Richardson said he had a new “clean version” of the original DACA resolution ready to submit.
Richardson’s new version, like his original, focuses only on supporting the federal policy, which was an executive order signed during the Obama administration. President Donald Trump rescinded the order and urged congress to address the policy through legislation within six months.
While the original version included support for Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman’s BRIDGE Act, which would extend DACA for three years, Richardson opted to leave that out this time.
Richardson said he sought out a legal opinion on submitting a resolution straight to council, rather than going to study session or a committee first and believes the rules allows a council member to do so.
Councilwoman Marsha Berzins said she supported sending the original resolution to a committee for review because some people had complained other measures didn’t go through a complete process.
Some council members said they didn’t think a resolution would matter any more to Congress than a letter would. But Richardson said that was not the intended audience of the resolution, even as it urges the body to act.
“I don’t think any of us are deluded into thinking a pro-DACA resolution would be a moving force. I think our audience is our community, and it’s very symbolic in a positive way,” Richardson said. “It sends a message to our community of what our value system is.”
Richardson’s resolution will be heard at the next city council meeting. Mayor Steve Hogan advised council members to have amendments ready if they wanted to submit them.