SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – Today, the County of Santa Clara and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521 asked a federal court to temporarily enjoin the Trump Administration’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The joint motion – also filed by individual DACA recipients, the University of California, the states of California, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, and the City of San José – seeks to restore DACA and its critical benefits to DACA recipients pending a final decision in federal court.
The County and SEIU Local 521 filed suit in October to defend the DACA program. Under DACA, immigrants who were brought to this county as children received protection from deportation and authorization to work lawfully. The Trump Administration ended the program in September, placing hundreds of thousands of young people at risk of deportation.
Santa Clara County is home to an estimated 23,000 DACA-eligible individuals. The County lawfully employs DACA recipients in many critical roles, and SEIU Local 521 represents many of these workers. Repeal of DACA would be devastating to these County residents and employees and would hinder the County’s ability to serve the community.
“The Trump Administration’s unlawful and cruel rollback of the DACA program harms thousands of hard-working County residents and employees, forcing them out of gainful employment and into fear of deportation,” said Dave Cortese, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “Forcing these immigrants back into the shadows not only harms these individuals but also harms our community as a whole.”
“The DACA repeal has already caused untold harm to DACA recipients, their families, and their communities,” said Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams. “The Trump Administration’s illegal and heartless action must be enjoined to prevent further harm and protect the young people who relied on the federal government’s promises.”
“We take this action to protect the rights of hard working union members that serve the most vulnerable in our communities every day,” said Riko Mendez, Chief Elected Officer of SEIU Local 521. “We have seen firsthand the severe harm suffered by our members as a result of the repeal of DACA. It was essential for us to seek relief from these harms for our members as soon as possible.”
The joint motion filed today argues that the DACA repeal violated statutory prohibitions on arbitrary governmental actions and asks the court to enjoin the repeal until the lawsuit is resolved. The preliminary injunction motion will be argued before U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup on December 20, 2017.
The joint motion can be found here.
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About the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office
The County Counsel serves as legal counsel to the County, its Board of Supervisors and elected officials, every County department and agency, and the County’s boards and commissions. With a staff of 170 employees, including 85 attorneys, the Office of the County Counsel is also responsible for all civil litigation involving the County and its officers. Through its Social Justice and Impact Litigation Section, the Office litigates high-impact cases, drafts innovative local ordinances, and develops policies and programs to advance social and economic justice.
About the County of Santa Clara, California
The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents. With a $6.5 billion annual budget, dozens of offices/departments, and over 18,000 employees, the County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and treatment, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many others, particularly for those in the greatest need. The County is the most populous in Northern California.
About Service Employees International Union Local 521
Service Employees International Union Local 521 represents 40,000 public, non-profit, and private-sector workers in the Central Bay Area region and in the Central Valley including 10,000 workers in Santa Clara County. As a union, we are committed to making sure the needs and vital services we provide our communities come first. We believe communities thrive when residents, leaders and workers recognize that we are all in this together when it comes to safety, health, and well-being.