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November 7, 2017 > County and employee union aim to stop DACA repeal

County and employee union aim to stop DACA repeal

Submitted By Mara Leticia Gmez

On Friday, November 3, the County of Santa Clara and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521 asked a federal court to temporarily enjoin the Trump AdministrationÕs 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 Jos) 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 CountyÕs ability to serve the community.

ÒThe Trump AdministrationÕs 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,Ó said Dave Cortese, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. ÒForcing these immigrants back into the shadows not only harms these individuals but also harms our community as a whole.Ó

ÒThe DACA repeal has already caused untold harm to DACA recipients, their families, and their communities,Ó said Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams. ÒThe Trump AdministrationÕs illegal and heartless action must be enjoined to prevent further harm and protect the young people who relied on the federal governmentÕs promises.Ó

ÒWe take this action to protect the rights of hard working union members that serve the most vulnerable in our communities every day,Ó said Riko Mendez, Chief Elected Officer of SEIU Local 521. ÒWe 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.Ó

The joint motion filed November 3 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 is available at https://www.sccgov.org/sites/cco/overview/Pages/DACA-Litigation.aspx

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