POLITICAL CHATTER: Mayors press to keep dream alive for young immigrants

Young immigrants who no longer fear deportation can better serve their communities, Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said this week.

Hemminger and others spoke out Tuesday for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ National Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Day of Action.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, allows undocumented immigrants to work, enroll in college and get a driver’s license if they were under age 31 on June 15, 2012, and entered the U.S. before age 16. DACA also protects them from deportation.

Pam Hemminger 2017
Pam Hemminger Town of Chapel Hill Contributed

DACA has benefited nearly 800,000 undocumented youths since 2012, according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Roughly 650,000 are employed, including 6 percent who run their own businesses, ILRC officials said. Losing those workers could cost billions in local, state and federal taxes, in addition to the turnover cost for businesses, they said.

“We urge the continuation of the DACA program to provide the necessary protections for our immigrant community until Congress passes comprehensive immigration reform,” Hemminger said. “These young people deserve a clear path toward a productive future and a chance, like other immigrants to America before them, to help lead all of us toward a brighter future.”

Hemminger and Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle were among over 100 U.S. mayors who signed a letter to President Donald Trump in August recognizing the fifth anniversary of DACA’s implementation. The letter encouraged the administration to defend DACA and work with Congress to find a permanent solution.

Major Durham PAC endorsements in for mayor and council candidates

The three biggest political action committees in Durham have announced their endorsements for mayor and three council seats. Mayoral candidate Farad Ali has received the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People and Friends of Durham endorsements, and Steve Schewel received the People’s Alliance endorsement.

Farad Ali, candidate for Durham mayor. submitted

The pool of candidates in Durham will be narrowed to two per race in the Oct. 10 primary. The top two vote-getters move on to the Nov. 7 general municipal election.

Durham City Council member Steve Schewel, candidate for mayor. Herald-Sun file photo Jenny Warburg

For three council seats, incumbent Ward 1 council member Cora Cole-McFadden, who is also mayor pro tem, received the DCABP and Friends endorsements. The People’s Alliance endorsed Durham Planning Commission member DeDreana Freeman in Ward 1.

Ward 2 is an open seat, as incumbent Durham City Council member Eddie Davis is not seeking a second term. DCABP and the Friends PACs endorsed Rev. Mark-Anthony Middleton, while PA endorsed John Rooks Jr.

In Ward 3, incumbent council member Don Moffitt received the Friends endorsement; Shelia Huggins got the DCABP endorsement; and PA went with Vernetta Alston.

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