SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams released the following statement on the United States Supreme Court’s decision to review the Ninth Circuit’s ruling blocking the Trump Administration’s repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“We are disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision to prematurely review the DACA repeal, without the benefit of a full and fair appellate process,” said County Counsel James R. Williams. “But we are fully prepared to continue this fight before the Supreme Court. DACA recipients—in Santa Clara County and throughout the nation—must be allowed to pursue the futures promised them by the federal government, and the Trump Administration must be held accountable for its cruel and illegal attempt to derail their lives.”
SEIU Local 521 Chief Elected Officer Riko Mendez added:
“We are hopeful the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold the Ninth Circuit’s decision and allow DACA to remain the law of the land,” said SEIU Local 521 Chief Elected Officer Riko Mendez. “We support this lawsuit on behalf of our workers and the communities we serve. As union members, we are committed to standing up for each other and supporting DACA recipients in holding the Trump Administration accountable for its broken promises.”
The County of Santa Clara, SEIU Local 521, and other plaintiffs opposed the Trump Administration’s request for Supreme Court review at this juncture, when the federal courts of appeal have not yet considered key legal issues or issued final rulings.
Background on the DACA Lawsuit
Under DACA, certain immigrants who were brought to this country as children are protected from deportation and receive authorization to work lawfully. The Trump Administration’s decision to end the program placed hundreds of thousands of young people at risk of deportation. The County and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521 filed suit in October 2017, shortly after the Trump Administration announced its decision to dismantle the DACA program.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California issued a preliminary injunction partly blocking the repeal of DACA in response to a motion filed jointly by the County of Santa Clara, SEIU Local 521, individual DACA recipients, the states of California, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, the University of California, and the City of San José. The Ninth Circuit upheld the preliminary injunction and other initial rulings of the district court on November 8, 2018.
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 their families. It would also hinder the County’s ability to serve the community.
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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 over 200, the Office 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 government of the County of Santa Clara serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents – the most populous in Northern California. With a $7 billion annual budget, dozens of offices/departments, and over 20,000 employees, the County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, 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.
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, SEIU is 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.
Media Contact: Laurel Anderson/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119