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Local agencies host a call to action in response to immigration ruling
Several agencies gathered in Modesto on Tuesday morning for a conference in favor of expanding the reach of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

What was meant to be a celebration of President Barack Obama’s new expansion of programs for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals transformed into a call to action after a federal court ruled late Monday night to block the president’s executive action that would extend present DACA laws.

“The message to the community was that these programs are still going to be happening but we have to prepare to be conscientious that they may be delayed because of the court ruling,” said CA Deputy State Director Sergio Lara for Mi Familia Vota of the ruling.

Mi Familia Vota is a national non-profit organization that promotes social and economic justice through increased civic participation and the agency co-hosted the event Tuesday morning in collaboration with the Stanislaus County Immigration Coalition, El Concilio Council for the Spanish Speaking, Congregations Building Community, North Valley Labor Federation, Community Trust Fund Credit Union, and the Catholic Charities Diocese of Stockton.

In June 2012, it was announced that individuals that came to the United States as children before the age of 16 and met particular guidelines, such as being enrolled in school and not having been convicted of a felony, would be eligible for a period of two years in the States subject to renewal. On Nov. 20, 2014, Obama made an announcement to extend the period of differed action and work authorization for individuals from two years to three years.

The local agencies intentionally held their conference on Tuesday in anticipation that applications to allow families with children who are citizens or permanent legal residents a three year work permit would be available. While the Monday night ruling upholds present laws for those that meet the requirements, according to a statement released by the White House “the Department of Justice has indicated that it will appeal that decision.”

California State Attorney General Kamala D. Harris echoed the sentiment shared by the local agencies’ in a statement she released on Tuesday:

“I am disappointed by the District Court’s ruling, which will delay justice and fairness for many immigrant families.  Bringing nearly five million individuals out of the shadows will promote public safety, benefit our economy and extend the American Dream.”