Council officials in Santa Clara County and San Jose have laid out their plans to resist any attempts by the incoming Trump administration to arrest and remove all undocumented immigrants in Silicon Valley. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, as well as San Jose’s City Council, each passed formal resolutions last week designed to oppose federal immigration programs that target immigrants.
The resolutions go a step further, creating a communications program that will inform immigrants about their rights and options to obtain legal citizenship.
During the City Council meeting, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo emphasized the importance of responding to the incoming immigrant crisis as a community, given how unpredictable immigration policy could be once President-elect Trump takes office on January 20.
The resolutions coincide with day one of Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-Alabama)—Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney general—confirmation hearing, where he was grilled by senators for controversial statements on race and immigration.
Sessions and Trump were particularly vocal on immigration throughout the campaign trail, calling for a heightened crackdown on undocumented immigrants and promising to deport more than 11 million men, women, and children from the country.
Sen. Sessions has built a reputation in the Senate for his hard line stance on immigration policy. He has not shied away from stating that he would not block any attempts by the Trump administration to make good on campaign promises to repeal all immigration protections granted by President Obama’s executive actions to undocumented immigrants, particularly those who entered the United States as children.
Officials in Silicon Valley spoke of how the incendiary rhetoric by Trump has fueled fears within Santa Clara’s immigrant community.
“This is personal for me because my parents immigrated to this county and my husband did as well,” said, a member of the San Jose City Council. The lawmaker said she had to ease her son’s concerns about being deported back to Mexico, telling him that he is an American citizen through and through.
“This city is a beacon for diversity. We can show the world how immigrant communities can live together,” she added.
San Jose is known as one of the country’s most diverse cities, with no majority population dominated by one race. Around 32 percent of the city’s population is Hispanic, 32 percent is Asian, 27 percent is white, and several other minorities accounting for the rest of the diverse mix.
Silicon Valley is just one of many areas in the United States to defy federal action, even under the Obama administration. In Texas, a number of cities have also vowed to refuse cooperating with the federal government in arresting and handing over undocumented immigrants. So-called “sanctuary” cities like Austin and Dallas have openly declared themselves as being friendly to immigrants.
In November last year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promised to cut funding to these cities as retaliation, although he has yet to do anything of that sort.
If you or anyone you know wants to know more about the potential actions of the incoming Trump administration on immigration policy, schedule a consultation with the immigration law team of the Lyttle Law Firm. Call our offices today at (512) 215.5225 to learn how our services can help you.