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Council passes resolution urging help for ‘Dreamers’


The Madera City Council Wednesday night unanimously passed a resolution urging Congress to pass legislation known as the Dream Act, and to make permanent the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Mayor Andy Medellink who sponsored the resolution, said he wasn’t sure how much effect it would have, “but what we can do here is offer hope.”

About a dozen people stood to back the resolution in testimony before the council.

Some self-described themselves as “Dreamers,” who had arrived with undocumented immigrant parents as children, while others told of having been helped by the DACA program.”

The DACA program, meant to help undocumented young people stay in America, was being debated in Congress this week.

Many of those backing the resolution belonged to a group calling itself Madera Votes, with a largely Hispanic membership that attempts to register people to vote and lobbies for issues of Hispanic interest.

Medellin, himself a son of Hispanic immigrants — his mother, Marge Medellin, was a mayor of Madera, and the first Hispanic woman to serve as a mayor in California — thanked Madera Votes for working with him on the resolution.

No one from the council or from the audience in the packed chambers, spoke against the measure. In other business, the council:

• Voted to support a letter of approval for a plan to widen State Route 99 between Avenues 12 and 17.

• Okayed the issuance of special tax-refunding bonds to save certain neighborhood taxpayers money on Madera community facilities financing.

• Accepted a $375,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to hire and equip three new police officers and a $108,000 grant from the California Department of Transportation for planning in the Yosemite Avenue traffic corridor.

The next Madera City Council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7.

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