Santa Clara Workers & Immigrant Rights Organizations Join County in Legal Action Against Trump “Sanctuary City” Order

Contact: Khanh Weinberg, 408-921-0098 cell


• Brief Filed in Federal Court Wednesday Says Services for Millions Locally Are Undermined by Trump’s Immigration Executive Order;
• Workers Aim to Protect County Services– Local Residents Fear Illegal Trump Defunding and Retaliation

Santa Clara – Workers who are represented by the Service Employees International Union in Santa Clara County as well as AFSCME Council 57, UFCW, UNITE HERE, South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, and Working Partnerships USA today announced they have filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in support of the lawsuit filed by the County of Santa Clara. The amicus brief tells the stories of front-line workers and the harm that Trump’s Executive Order is doing to the services they provide and the local residents who count on them.

At the news conference outside the Robert Peckham Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, the workers said they are standing together to protect the essential services all Santa Clara County residents count on – including health care, home care, public health, transportation, social services, and emergency response. Workers were joined at the news conference by representatives of the Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN), Silicon Valley De-Bug, and Forum for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (FIRE), who, along with Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, took similar action in federal court today.

“As healthcare professionals, our work promotes the well-being of the community. President Trump’s Executive Order, on the other hand, has the drastic opposite effect. It threatens to defund vital county services even though these services have nothing to do with immigration enforcement,” said SEIU Local 521 member Marilyn Mara, a Public Health Nurse who provides safety-net health services for the county. ‘We go into people’s homes to do nursing assessments. If the environment in Santa Clara County becomes more anti-immigrant, it will become more difficult for me to do my work. Trust is a huge part of my work.”

In January, Trump signed an Executive Order to withhold federal funding from cities, counties and states that have welcoming policies toward immigrants. This defunding occurs even though federal funding has nothing to do with immigration enforcement. In February, the County of Santa Clara filed a federal lawsuit to block Trump’s Executive Order, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution. Today’s amicus brief, filed in federal court, detailed the impact the Trump order has had on the work provided by public employees in Santa Clara and the people they serve.

“Trump’s Executive Order retaliates against residents of Santa Clara and other jurisdictions nationwide in violation of the U.S. Constitution,” said Riko Mendez, Chief Elected Officer, SEIU 521. “The workers’ amicus brief is a strong statement to the court and to the public that these public workers refuse to allow crucial services to be held hostage to Trump’s hateful politics.”

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