City Council endorses protections and path to citizenship for DACA recipients. G.J. citizens react.

On January 17, 2018, the Grand Junction City Council sent an official letter (above) to Senators Cory Gardner, Michael Bennet and House Representative Scott Tipton urging the House and Senate to pass “a clean bill as soon as possible to prevent the end of DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] in March.”

Republican and “Deplorable” G.J. City Council member Duncan McArthur voted against the letter supporting young DACA recipients in our community

The letter was signed by Mayor J. Merrick (“Rick”) Taggart. City Council approved it on a 5-2 vote. Councilmembers Duncan McArthur and Barbara Traylor-Smith voted against it.

DACA is the Obama-era program that allows people brought to the country illegally as children to obtain work permits, attend school and stay in the country legally.

The letter states in part,

“…[We] ask that you protect the work authorization of DACA holders and afford them a long overdue path to citizenship. Because of the importance to the issue to many of our constituents we storngly urge the Senate and the House to act swiftely to create an immigration system that will ensure safer workplaces, provide a path to higher education and build a stronger economic future for our community, our state and our nation. …From our perspective, there is no reason to end the prospect for decent jobs, educational opportunity and positive change that comes with encouraging productive members of our community to remain here. We hope that addressing DACA as a single issue will be the beginning of an immigration policy that will recognize the basic rights and dignity of all people and the roles and responsibilities they have in shaping our communities and our future.

Please advance legislation so that it can be approved well before the March 5, 2018 deadline for the expiration of DACA.”

It was a compassionate move by Council and a humanitarian recognition of the value and importance of immigrants in our community.

Plenty of Grand Junction citizens don’t see it that way, though.

Irrational fear and loathing of immigrants in Grand Junction: “It’s us vs. them!”

Republican City Council member Barbara Traylor Smith voted against  supporting DACA recipients in our community

A copy of the letter posted in a local Facebook group page drew a stunning slew of angry comments, and a few compassionate comments, before the page admin shut down the conversation.

One Grand Junction resident charged without providing a basis for the claim that DACA will “cost taxpayers millions of dollars.” Some writers stated their beliefs, without providing information to substantiate them, that accepting  DACA recipients into our community would force us to “sacrifice the needs of our veterans and seniors.” They asserted without proof that DACA kids do not pay taxes, that they burn American flags, are “flipping us off,” are “pushing the Mexican flag in our faces” and that DACA is a matter of “them over our own citizens.” One person said many DACA recipients are “America-hating thugs,” adding some are also good. Former city council member Laura Luke, fanning the flames of hatred against DACA recipients, wrote that DACA kids “SUCK resources from your and your families.” People expressed tremendous anger at city council for sending the letter.

A compassionate citizen commented that “These are all good people who have grown up as Americans and they don’t know any other country. My humanity says they belong here no matter how they got here.” Another wrote, “They [DACA recipients] were forced here by their parents and people need to stop blaming these people who were children. The majority of dreamers deserve to stay. They work and go to school in an effort to be productive members of society, all the while they receive zero benefits…”

DACA’s Steep Requirements

Successful DACA recipients had to have fulfilled a lot of requirements. They must have resided in the U.S. since June 15, 2007. They have to show financial records, employment and military records, medical records and school records including transcripts and report cards showing they entered the U.S. before they were 16 years of age. They must currently be in school, or have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, or have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces. They must not have been convicted of any crimes. They had to pay filing fees totaling about $700.

These requirements pretty much guarantee they have already been productive members of society in one way or another, and if allowed to pursue their lives here, they will continue on the same path.

City Council did the right thing

The cascade of mean comments on Facebook show the Trump administration has successfully pushed mean, anti-immigrant narratives to the forefront across the U.S., and even into our own community, which we like to believe consisted mostly of kind-hearted people. But  Trump has been portraying immigrants as drug dealers, rapists, terrorists and drains upon the system. These narratives are untrue, and the type of fear and loathing Trump is generating is unfounded. Nevertheless, many Grand Junction-area residents have swallowed that hateful narrative and are now spewing it back.

While immigrants make up about 13 percent of the American work force, they contribute 15 percent of the country’s economic output. Immigrants also make up much of the backbone of American innovation. Apple Computers, for example, was co-founded by Steve Jobs, whose biological father was a Syrian refugee. Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, was born in Moscow. All six of America’s 2016 Nobel Prize winners are immigrants. In fact, 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by either immigrants or the children of immigrants, according to the Atlantic. Even the conservative CATO Institute concludes from research that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens. And even when undocumented, unauthorized immigrants still pay a significant amount taxes because, like all American citizens, they pay property taxes on their homes or on apartments they own or rent, and they pay sales taxes for purchases they make.

City Council deserves thanks for sending the letter. Five of them did not fall prey to the irrational, xenophobic narrative Trump has been pushing about our immigrant fellow residents, and five of them showed the City of Grand Junction values all of its residents and their contributions.

The other two members of Council sadly failed this important test of their humanity.


Related post: Grand Junction’s Growing Hate Community

 

21 comments for “City Council endorses protections and path to citizenship for DACA recipients. G.J. citizens react.

  1. Benita Phillips
    January 30, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I do not believe, as a sovereign nation, that we have totally open borders. DACA recipients should not pay the price for our incompetence. They have done EVERYTHING expected of them and should NOT be punished. Read DACA requirements. ( https://www.uscis.gov/archive/frequently-asked-questions)
    If you watch the BBC 3-part special ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/search?q=House+of+Saud ) on the “House of Saud A Family at War” you would see how capitalism has been perverted into pure greed without moral guides or legal consequences. This special defines on how and why the ultra-wealthy are forcing the other 99% into imposed “poverty.” The “middle” class doesn’t have a chance. The Saudis are not alone in their corruption and greed. Putin in Russia, several past Presidents of Indonesia, Duterte in the Philippines, and now Trump in the US are all “borrowing” from banks and not paying the money back, but instead “lose” it and use it in a manner they convolute at multi-levels of “investing.”
    We don’t have to reduce our wages to the level of Pakistan or any other “third” world nation. If the elite have their way, and they are far ahead in this game, we will be at parity soon enough. In this we have all had our heads in the sand. Your sense of honor to not steal AP, is NOT practiced by the ultra wealthy. Your Grandfather and mine would have been appalled, not at what the wealthy are taking from the masses, but that we are letting them and instead go after one another. It is not the Mexican that sneaks across the border that is impoverishing this nation. Follow the money!!!
    You were right about HRC and Trump. Now you and Seamus keep up the good work. I like reading both inputs. I hate the name calling though. You both should try to enjoy the sarcasm, jabs and caustic statements without the names….Bubbleheads!

  2. Benita Phillips
    January 26, 2018 at 10:34 am

    We are losing the comprehensive picture in this debate.
    These “Kids” represent a smaller percentage of our population then the Jews did in Nazi Germany. They have met the requirements for their status, so therefore their status should NOT be at risk. Trump is good at rocking foundational norms. He is using these people as pawns to force the money from Congress for the “wall” he “promised” his supporters that Mexico would be responsible to bear the cost. HA!
    Because of their minute numbers, they are a vulnerable population, again like the Jews. And like the Jews of Germany, they are only a representation of the regime’s forces to have a target. DACA has nothing to do with capitalism, which is not a supply and demand system in this nation, but a way to hold the lethargic national government in pure panic and unable to make any further decisions. Ergo Schumer’s caving that Trump saw as a “win.”
    DACA recipients are citizens in every way except the paper. Since many “marry” without the “papers” but make the commitment, is common law not legal?
    Capitalism, as practiced now is greed at all costs and without ethics. Basically, Capitalism is an excuse for the ultra rich and corporations to maneuver and wrench the wealth of the People from them through unethical (ex: Wells Fargo) and immoral ( 2008 banking crisis due to loan sharking) business practices. We are seeing the brewing of another major economic downturn. The DOW Jones is NOT a reflection of the economy. If anyone believes that, like Trump, does not understand economics at all. The GDP is still tooting along at slightly more then 2%. Not a significant change in comparison the the prior administration, but the prior administration inherited a GDP that was going negative. Turning a nation this size around is like turning a supertanker in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf.
    This site is easy to read: ( https://www.thebalance.com/2008-gdp-growth-updates-by-quarter-3305542 )
    After years of Nursing, I have never seen anything that proves to me that humans from other nations are substantially different then ourselves. Some have more melanin then others. Those differences bolster human DNA and are part of evolution…or if you only believe in God, then it is part of God’s omnipotent plan and cannot be questioned anyway.
    ( https://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4340 )
    Supporting our Latino citizens, supporting DACA participants, supporting our minority citizens should not be an issue. If the south had not been made up of uppity wealthy greedy white people hellbent on using other humans as beasts of burden, the Civil War would never have been fought and we would not be fighting it now. Immigration would have a totally different connotation. We are now saddled by the greed of our ancestors. The DACA participants are not responsible for any of this. We are.

  3. American Patriot
    January 24, 2018 at 8:05 am

    The solution to this problem appears to be fairly simple. Deport the City Council along with the so called DACA recipients. Reestablish the rule of law, our borders, and assume total ownership of our nation. Who does this country belong to anyway? No deals!

    • Anne Landman
      January 24, 2018 at 11:17 am

      AP, under your logic, the only people who don’t deserve deportation are native Americans, so you’ll need to leave as well.

      “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” — Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Henry L. Pierce, 1859 http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/pierce.htm

      • American Patriot
        January 24, 2018 at 3:46 pm

        Oh, we were already deported….to reservations. But if you’d really like to know what open borders result in, well ask a Native American. Most of the illegal aliens that I’ve worked along side in my life didn’t want to be citizens of the US. They were just here to make a better living for their families. It’s the Democrats that screwed that up for them.

        So yeah, the solution to this problem is to deport the Democrats. That keeps the corporations happy with their cheap labor. It keeps the migrant workers happy, cause they can go home and their money’s worth about four times what it is here. And secure borders allows the blue collar American worker s to benefit from the labor shortage in much the same way as the oil companies benefit when there’s a shortage of crude oil.

        And of course, you already know as soon as the illegals get right with the law, they’re not going to be working below minimum wage anymore. And then we’ll need a new wave of illegal immigration. So yeah, the only solution that presents itself is to enforce our laws, secure our borders or alternately just throw all the liberals out of the country. They don’t work anyway. And you may have guessed; that last one would be my solution of choice. But I would consider reservations for Democrats, either in northern Michigan or southern Arizona. Yeah, that’s the ticket. We’ll keep the dreamers and get rid of the useful idiots. Works for me.

        • Seamus
          January 25, 2018 at 5:29 pm

          Quite the little fascist, aren’t ya, AP?

          • American Patriot
            January 25, 2018 at 6:01 pm

            And so, Seamless, what exactly is it that you leftists object to in the legal redistribution of wealth from the corporations to the people? Is it the fact that it would work because labor wages are also subject to the capitalist laws of supply and demand, and it’s legal? Or is it that you prefer the money not benefit blue collar, legal US citizens? Or maybe you object to the rule of law or sovereign nations?

            Perhaps you should entertain the idea of moving to a country more suitable to your personality? Say North Korea? Or perhaps Syria? I’m quite certain with a little effort, you could raise the necessary funding with a go fund me page. I could almost guarantee bipartisan financial support for your relocation.

          • Seamus
            January 27, 2018 at 8:41 am

            As you can see, AP, the tide is already turning against you and your ilk. Even the City Council has a limit, and you and your bottom-feeding Trumpsuckers have plumbed beyond it. You should pay attention; this is what a genuine uprising against a corrupt and evil government looks like. Vastly different from a bunch of doddering old bigots playing TeaBag Tag and Revolutionary War LARPing, making their brave cases with sharpies in the relative safety of a public restrooms.

          • AP
            January 27, 2018 at 12:43 pm

            And just what would you know about an uprising Seamless? I mean, outside public restrooms? A City Council resolution! OMG, whip me, beat me, make me write bad checks. You’re nothing but a victim of lower expectations.

            Haven’t you heard, ‘come on up to the risin’ has quit the building to occupy the White House? Or is that not a part of your delusional nirvana world?

            As for those old men; well what you’re looking at there boy/son are not wrinkles. They’re a war map. And you’re looking at the survivors. Are you really sure you want to play that game? If so, just make it count. We’re all headed for the same place, through the inevitability of gradualism. And it just strikes terror in the hearts of old men that you might cut short their young lives.

            Holy Hale/Bop Son, you don’t even talk the talk, let alone walk the walk. It’s not about bravery. That’s a game for idiots, and wanna be revolutionaries. It’s about planting your feet in one place and sticking to it until the job is done.

            Yesterday, the message was immigration laws were a federal issue. And what you’re telling us now is that you want to dabble in it, try to influence it. What’s bad about that isn’t what you’re doing, it’s that you don’t even realize you just stepped in it. Does your delusional mind even comprehend that all we have to do to win the immigration issue is nothing? Sit on our hands and wait for March 5. Your side either puts its big boy pants on and comes to the negotiating table bearing gifts, or we restore the rule of law. Either way, we win.

            Demand until you turn blue in the face, but at least do it in the reality that we busted your politics up, like a piece of chalk, in the last popular uprising. And we can do it again for ya. Just any ole time you feel the urge. So don’t let anything but the fear of reality hold you or your uprising back. that’s the bad news.

            The good news is; there is very little or any danger that the chronic use of recreational marijuana will kill any brain cells in the back of your head. That’s not exactly a target rich environment, as reflected by the drool coming out of your mouth. And that is as it is, as it was and as it shall be. And still you have no answers.

          • Seamus
            January 28, 2018 at 1:32 pm

            The “glorious uprising” that was nothing more than an 8-year tantrum over a black man daring to become the President? You silly SOBs couldn’t even keep from turning on each other…remember GJ’s Result? Yeah, no one else will either. As for the fruits of your labor, you elected, out of spite, a known con artist, rapist, money launderer, and Russian collaborator, and have completely destroyed the legitimacy of the GOP and Conservatism. For all your speeches plagiarized from actual revolutionaries, people who made real sacrifices and fought real battles, you were all too willing to kneel at the feet of a bloated, narcissistic, willfully ignorant pig. Quite a victory.
            As for your trademark bloated rhetoric of “survivors” and “war”; it’s already been established that you’re nothing but a fraud, appropriating others’ service and sacrifice while letting others assume it was your own. Your idea of ‘battle’ is typing on one of the only remaining venues that will tolerate you, declaring yourself the victor (when you’re not crying and threatening that the site will be shut down or investigated by your pals at the FBI for making fun of you). You’re nothing but a querulous old fool, looking back at a wasted life and trying to ascribe some measure of importance for “taking a stand” by annoying people with your anonymous “hero” fantasy.
            You do have a legacy; history will look back on your pretend revolution as the last gasps of bigotry, racism, and ignorance in society’s unrelenting march forward. We’ll survive Trump. It took years to take down Nixon, and your Cheeto Messiah is no Nixon. Sadly, there are no more pretend sacrifices you can make ; you’ve already given up any credibility or dignity for him. Bleating on the internet is pretty much all you have left.

          • American Patriot
            January 29, 2018 at 10:28 am

            Interesting bad trip rant, Seamless. But what you should know is the first rule of an insurgency is to not become reactionary. Who but survivors could make such a rule?

            Obviously, your delusion has brought you to a false conclusion that you are breaking new trail. But reality may remind you, you are actually on a well worn path, paved with good intentions. But I hear to-hell-u-ride is nice this time of year.

            So by any means, please, continue yourself.

          • AP
            January 29, 2018 at 10:34 am

            Interesting bad trip rant, Seamless. But what you should know is the first rule of an insurgency is to not become reactionary. Who but survivors could make such a rule?

            Obviously, your delusion has brought you to a false conclusion that you are breaking new trail. But reality may remind you, you are actually on a well worn path, paved with good intentions.

            But what you should also know; respect is earned, but the political butt whippings are free. So by all means, please, continue yourself.

          • AP
            January 29, 2018 at 10:34 am

            Interesting bad trip rant, Seamless. But what you should know is the first rule of an insurgency is to not become reactionary. Who but survivors could make such a rule?

            Obviously, your delusion has brought you to a false conclusion that you are breaking new trail. But reality may remind you, you are actually on a well worn path, paved with good intentions.

            But what you should also know; respect is earned, but the political butt whippings are free. So by all means, please, continue yourself.

          • Seamus
            January 30, 2018 at 11:03 am

            Dude…tell the staff at the GJ Result Rest Home (Don’t worry, folks: it’s more than 1,000 yards from any school or playground!) to tone down your meds. Your textual self-love is going to start chafing.

    • Anne Landman
      January 26, 2018 at 11:52 am

      AP, if I can explore your attitudes for a moment, I am genuinely interested in what prevents you from empathizing with immigrants as fellow human beings whose families have fled unbelievably bad conditions in their home countries, like violence, poverty and hunger? Do you regard immigrants as human beings? Do you feel some human beings are less entitled to a comfortable life because they are from a different country? Do you think that if by accident of birth your yourself were born into a poor family in a less well-off nation that you would simply stay put and watch your family risk harm and starvation instead of trying to find a better life? Do you believe extending asylum to people whose lives or families’ lives are threatened in their home countries is wrong? I assume from your posts that you are a religious man. Isn’t one of the Ten Commandments to “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”? Are you opposed to that one commandment? If so, why? Do you oppose the maxim that we should treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated? If so, why?

      • American Patriot
        January 26, 2018 at 3:14 pm

        So that’s how this works. I pose questions to Seamus, and you guys play tag team match. Shall I go find someone to ignore your questions? Of course not. That would be impolite and probably rude.

        First my birth was not an accident. And yes, I have lived in other countries. But I didn’t go there illegally. Nor did I demand acceptance. And yes, I went there to make a better life for my family. But I was hired by an American company. And of course, when the contract was complete, as much as I liked the desert, the people and the money, I came home.

        I didn’t just demand to stay and demand that they allow me to bring twenty seven or twenty eight members of my family to their country. But I think you’re missing the point. It’s not about empathy, sympathy, like or dislike. And it’s all about sovereignty, who gets to decide, and the rule of law.

        And it’s about a created labor glut that denies the blue collar American workers the dividend they would receive from a shortage of labor, especially in the service industry, which makes up most of our labor market.

        Do you believe in open borders? And of course you know a nation is not a nation without borders. Do you believe the American working class owes it to the world to reduce their incomes on par with the people of Pakistan or Sudan? Or just Mexico? How many illegal immigrants reside in your home? Isn’t that where your charity and compassion should start?

        But let me be clear. Yes, I was born into a poor family. But it was a family that believed that just because you’re poor, that’s no excuse for breaking the law. As my Grandfather used to say; if it doesn’t belong to you, leave it right where you found it. What I think you should know is I came from a family of immigrants who according to some scientists immigrated through Russia and across an ice bridge that was once located where the Aleutian islands are.

        And I enter my home justified. And my home is in the same homeland that was stolen from my people by unrestricted immigration. But of course you had nothing to do with that, just like I have nothing to do with the plight of the Mexican people living under a corrupt and criminal government. Much the same as we have enjoyed right here in the USA for eight years previous. But that’s our mess. And something we’re in the process of cleaning up.

        But to make my attitude clear, I’m in the same position as the older black man interviewed by CNN during the OJ Simpson trial. The lead in was; OJ bought Nicole a new sports car, and she went out and found herself a white boyfriend, and was driving him all over town in the sports car that OJ bought. Here’s what the old man said; “I do not condone what OJ did, (he obviously thought OJ guilty) but I can certainly understand why he did it”.

        And I think I should say right here that Hillary Clinton lost the election, not because of any collusion, but rather because she lived in a bubble and lost touch with the working class people. And the path the Democrats are on right now, choosing to represent foreign nationals over American citizens, will in my opinion lead to an even bigger loss. And of course, I have the advantage of being right before the fact last time.

        But by all means, do not let me dissuade you from your chosen path. Just let me caution that my part of this country that I worked for, fought for and shed blood for is not for sale. Nor will I allow it to be given away or stolen again, by those who feel entitled, because they haven’t earned the right to speak for me. And when all is said and done, there are millions of Americans just like me. And that’s going to be the fly in your ointment.

        And I’ll await your answer on the same questions that I presented to Seamus. And you will of course be courteous enough to reply in kind.

        • Anne Landman
          January 26, 2018 at 4:57 pm

          So there was nothing accidental about your birth. You mean someone chose the specific egg and sperm that your arose from? That’s fascinating, because my understanding was that no one has any control of the circumstances of their birth or parentage.

          I didn’t mention Hillary Clinton, so I don’t understand why you brought her up.

          So let me ask you, if you had an accident while driving and found yourself stranded by the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, hurt and helpless, and someone stopped to help you and took you to safety, and that person happened to be an illegal immigrant, would you be grateful for the help? Angry at them? Would you refuse the help because they weren’t here legally? How deep does your animosity towards immigrants actually run? Does it matter to you whether they are good people or not?

          • American Patriot
            January 26, 2018 at 5:19 pm

            And as expected, you totally ignored my questions. But probably that’s because neither you nor Seamless have any answers. What happened to your common sense? Oh, that’s right. You must have given that away too.

            As to my birth not being an accident? Well, that’s fairly easily explained. My sperm cell was bigger and stronger and won that race too. And not only that, but I know who my father was.

            Now why don’t you put a new article up so I can knock it out of the ballpark for you. No wonder you guys are so easy. You don’t have any answers.

  4. Kate
    January 23, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    As I read through comments on Twitter and Facebook regarding this issue, it’s clear that this administration is very good and pushing their agenda through simple and repetitive messaging using conservative media outlets. The comments are all the same. I have tried to encourage people to do their own research but they are hanging on very tightly to their talking points: criminals, murderers, sucking resources from American citizens, free loaders, don’t pay taxes, anyone can come here and claim they are a dreamer, lazy and never pursued a path to citizenship, etc.

    This administration is very good at keeping those messages at the forefront. Look at the ad they released on Saturday. Designed to rile up the base and create fear and division.

    I think the Dems need to learn the art of the message.

  5. Robert Fisk
    January 23, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    Great letter. It’s good to see there are many decent caring people in Grand Junction. Those who oppose DACA need to do some soul searching.

    • Scott
      January 23, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      Unfortunately, soul searching isn’t really something those who oppose DACA are good at.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *