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Board Reaffirms Commitment to Program for Undocumented Youth

Resolution Calls on Trump Administration to Extend DACA Program

Santa Clara County reaffirmed its commitment to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients by calling on President Trump to keep the program that has allowed undocumented youth to thrive in school and employment and contribute greatly to the only country they have ever known.

In unanimously approving a resolution on Tuesday, August 15, the Board of Supervisors vowed to defend DACA against legal threats, send a letter to the Trump Administration in support of keeping DACA alive and a letter of support to co-authors of new Federal DREAM Act. The DREAM Act would provide legal status, as well as a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrant youth who entered the United States before the age of 18.

The state Attorneys General who sued against President Obama’s 2014 Expanded DACA are now demanding that the Department of Homeland Security phase out the program by not renewing or issuing new DACA permits, starting on September 5.

“That is bad policy,” said Board President Dave Cortese, who brought the resolution to the Board. “These youth put their trust in our federal government. The resolution asks the Federal Administration to give these youth a chance and uphold the promise this federal government made to them five years ago.”

The resolution was approved on the 5th anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which provides deportation reprieve and work permits for certain undocumented immigrant youth and young adults. In the past five years, over 750,000 young people have applied and benefitted from the program. An estimated 23,000 potentially eligible immigrant youth and young adults live in Santa Clara County.

At a news conference before the Board meeting, DACA recipient and New Americans Fellowship participant Mitzia Martinez expressed her gratitude for being accepted into DACA in 2014 and for being able to help support her family when her father was diagnosed with cancer.

“If eliminated, DACA recipients like me will find it harder to advance our professional careers,” she said. “As an aspiring lawyer, I will be ineligible for financial aid and other scholarships to cover my law school tuition, and will have a hard time finding full-time employment without a Social Security number.“

Also supporting DACA at the news conference were Supervisor Cindy Chavez, County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith; Deputy County Executive David Campos; Maricela Gutierrez, Executive Director for SIREN; Richard Konda, Executive Director for the Asian Law Alliance; and Jahir Salinas de Arco, another DACA recipient and New Americans fellow.

For more information, call the Office of Supervisor Dave Cortese at 408-299-5030.

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Media Contact:  Janice RombeckOffice of Supervisor Dave Cortese, 408-299-5030 (office) 408-803-2095 (cell)

Posted: August 15, 2017

Last updated: 8/15/2017 3:15 PM