On a 4-1 vote, the supervisors formed a task force to determine how the county can assist immigrants eligible for Obama's planned expansion of the program, which would offer temporary protection from deportation to an estimated 5 million immigrants in the country illegally.
The lone dissenter, Supervisor
A Texas judge ordered a temporary halt to the expansion of the program last week, saying Obama didn’t have the legal authority to make the changes. The Republican-controlled
Nearly half a million L.A. County residents would be eligible for the program, which would offer temporary deportation relief and work permits to many immigrants brought to the U.S. as children as well as many parents of U.S. citizen children.
Supporters of deferred action cited its potential economic benefits, pointing to a recent study by UCLA's North American Integration and Development Center that found that L.A. County would reap an additional $1.1 billion in tax revenue.
"When you see something that's good for people and good for the economy, you have to go for it," said David Rattray, of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, who spoke in favor of the program at a news conference with labor and religious leaders before Tuesday's vote.
Steve Lamb, who testified against the county proposal, said the supervisors should have waited until the future of Obama's program is clear. "It was inappropriate for them to vote on this," Lamb said.
A judge issued an injunction against the expansion of the program after Texas and 25 other states sued to stop it, accusing Obama of overstepping his legal authority.
The state of California and several California cities have come out in support of deferred action, with Los Angeles Mayor
The city of Los Angeles launched a campaign, Step Forward L.A., to encourage immigrants to apply for the program, and Garcetti has pledged to help raise $10 million to help at least 100,000 immigrants in the L.A. area with their applications.
The motion to establish a deferred action task force at the county was written by newly elected Supervisors
Solis said the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder could also play an important role by providing immigrants eligible for the programs copies of birth and marriage certificates and other official documents. Immigrants applying for deferred action will have to provide proof that they have lived in the country continuously since 2010.
"Whether you're for it or against it, at some point we're going to have to be ready as a county to move forward," he said.