SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.—Joined by 22 other cities, counties, and local officials from across the state, the County of Santa Clara, County of Los Angeles, and City of Oakland are filing an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief today urging the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California to uphold the California Values Act (SB 54) and two related state laws against an attack by the federal government.
The brief, co-authored by the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office with counsel for the City of Oakland and the County of Los Angeles, is being filed in United States of America v. State of California. The brief supports the State of California’s defense of three laws enacted in 2017 that protect public safety across the state, and the health and welfare of all Californians, by prioritizing state and local resources on law enforcement rather than federal civil immigration compliance.
“Experience shows that communities are safest when all residents feel secure calling their local police officers and visiting government offices for help in their most vulnerable moments,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese. “That’s why the County of Santa Clara crafted policies almost a decade ago that put local safety first, and it’s also why we support the California Values Act. This is not about preventing the federal government from doing its job, but about making sure our local police officers can do their jobs, too.”
“The Trump Administration continues to attempt to dictate how state and local governments can use their own resources, but our Constitution grants this power to our communities,” added Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams. “We’ve stopped them from defunding cities and counties, and now we’ll stop them from trying to deny California its right to decide how best to protect the health and safety of all Californians.”
The California Values Act (SB 54) echoes countless local officials’ judgment that limiting their involvement in federal immigration enforcement makes their communities safer by empowering everyone, regardless of their immigration status, to report crimes and serve as witnesses. The brief argues that communities in which the public does not fear that seeking out government services will lead to deportation—or as the brief puts it, those areas where “diverse communities can participate equally in civic life”—are not only safer, but also healthier and more prosperous. By filing the brief, localities and officials from all corners of California—from the largest counties to the smallest cities—are demonstrating their support for the California Values Act’s sound public policy.
The County of Santa Clara, County of Los Angeles, and City of Oakland’s amicus brief is joined by 22 other cities, counties, and local officials from across the state: the County of Alameda, City of Albany, City of Arvin, City of Berkeley, City of Culver City, City of Davis, City of East Palo Alto, County of Marin, County of Monterey, City of Morgan Hill, City of Mountain View,
City of Palm Springs, City of Richmond, City of Sacramento, City of San Diego, City of San José, City of Santa Ana, County of Santa Cruz, City of Santa Monica, County of Sonoma,
City of Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and City of West Hollywood.
The case is United States of America v. State of California, No. 18-490 (in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California).
*Press Release: County of Santa Clara, County of Los Angeles, and City of Oakland Lead Localities Statewide In Supporting California Values Act
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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 in Santa Clara County, the fifth largest county in California. With a $6.5 billion budget, more than 70 agencies/departments and 20,000 employees, the County of Santa Clara plans for the needs of a dynamic community, offers quality services, and promotes a healthy, safe and prosperous community for all. The County provides essential services including public health and environmental protection, medical services through Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC), child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, parks, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and scores of other services, particularly for those members of our community in the greatest need.
Media Contact: María Leticia Gómez, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119.
Posted: May 18, 2018