Acting mayor supports immigrant resource center in SF Bayview

- Immigrant leaders in San Francisco say their community is is breathing a collective sigh of relief since a judge with the city's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals barred the Trump Administration from rescinding DACA or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The policy, which shielded more than 700,000 people from deportation, allowed some individuals who had entered the United States illegally as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation.

Acting Mayor London Breed showed her support on Wednesday for the city's immigrant community at the unveiling of a new immigrant resource center called El Centro Bayview.

"The people who are a part of this country, the immigrants and the folks that are part of these communities is what makes our city and our city stronger," said Mayor Breed to a round of applause.

"They're afraid," said Nataly Ortiz, a family resource specialist at El Centro, which opens its doors on Friday. Currently, its daycare center, which serves about 40 children is up and running. 

"We just don't know what's going to happen and I think what the community wants right now is more information," said Ortiz, referring to DACA.

"We're targeting young working, studying productive people and this is partly what is so baffling about this policy," said Professor Hadar Aviram, who teaches law at UC Hastings. She says the President's attempt to dismantle DACA amounts to "gratuitous cruelty."

"Many of them have no recollection of their childhood in other countries beyond the us because they came here as toddlers," said Aviram, speaking of immigrants to whom she's provided legal help.

"The kids are in fear, there's so much stress on our community," conceded Ortiz. "It just makes me mad because they're attacking a vulnerable population."

By some appearances, it would seem that San Francisco has become Trump's new sparring partner, Professor Aviram says not so fast.

"One of the most decisive decisions came out of Hawaii. There was another one from New York and another one from Virginia so the perception that everything is happening in San Francisco is not exactly accurate," admitted Aviram.

But Professor Aviram concedes that the Ninth Circuit has a reputation for being more liberal than other circuits and California is a natural forum for immigration discussion.

"More than a quarter, almost a third actually of DACA applicants are in California," she said.

Professor Aviram expects the case will head all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.

Meantime, Mayor Breed vows to not give up on the immigrant community.

"It's sad, and we've got to keep using the courts to fight it, we've got to keep pushing for changes to Congress," said Breed.
 

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