Park City readies resolution supporting Dreamer path to citizenship
Statement describes ‘threatening rhetoric’ of the Trump administration
THE PARK RECORD
Park City leaders on Thursday are scheduled to address the polarizing issue of immigration with the possibility they could endorse a resolution that calls for a path to citizenship for immigrants brought to the country as youngsters, a group of people known as Dreamers.
Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council only occasionally delve into federal issues, but there has been broad concern in the community since President Trump rescinded an Obama administration policy allowing certain youngsters who arrived in the U.S. illegally to remain in the country. It is estimated up to 25 percent of the population of Park City is Latino, but it is not known how many people are impacted by the rescinding of the policy.
City Hall resolutions are not legislative in nature, but they provide the elected leadership an avenue to express opinions on issues that may not otherwise be put before them. The resolution on Thursday closely resembles one passed in Boulder, Colorado. The annual fact-finding City Tour involving Park City leaders and others visited Boulder last week. The City Tour provided an opportunity for discussions about the Boulder resolution, a City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting on Thursday indicated.
The resolution that will be considered on Thursday was drafted with the Boulder document as a guide, but it also includes statements that appear specific to Park City. The resolution language, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as DACA, calls for Park City and others in the community to urge the congressional delegation of Utah to support “immediate federal legislation which would continue the DACA program.”
“We call upon all governmental, business and nonprofit agencies and institutions in Park City, surrounding municipalities, and throughout Summit County to come together to urge the Trump Administration to keep the DACA program in place, ensuring protection of these young people,” the proposed resolution says.
In another important section, the proposed resolution requests “immediate action by Congress and the President to permanently address the legal status of DREAMERS in such a way as to allow them a path to permanent United States citizenship.”
The resolution also says “the threatening rhetoric being used by the current administration is causing uncertainty and fear that threatens the future of these young people who have come forward and entrusted the government with their information.”
By passing the resolution, the City Councilors would authorize the mayor and Park City Manager Diane Foster to take actions in support of the statement. The actions could include using City Hall’s lobbyists, working with the Utah League of Cities and Towns, and a national conference of mayors.
There has been concern about the effects of a Trump administration on the Latino community of Park City since Election Day in November. The worries were magnified just weeks after Trump took office when a federal immigration operation netted four people in Park City in February.
The City Council will consider the resolution at a meeting at the Marsac Building starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday. Public input will be accepted.
The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a City Hall workforce or otherwise restricted housing development slated for the northern reaches of Old Town.