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September 12, 2017 > County to fight for DACA Youth

County to fight for DACA Youth

Submitted By Janice Rombeck

Santa Clara County is poised to take whatever actions necessary to protect recipients enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from losing their jobs, education opportunities and dreams of professional careers in the United States.

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese reaffirmed the countyÕs support for DACA at a news conference on Sept. 5 just after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the end of the program which started during the Obama-era to protect from deportation young undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

ÒThe lives, dreams and futures of thousands of DACA recipients are not a bargaining chip for this administration to play with,Ó Supervisor Cortese said. ÒI remain committed to them and to their cause. I urge every DREAMer (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) out there to remain resilient and hopeful. We will not go down without a fight.Ó

Cortese said he had asked County Counsel James Williams to bring to the board a menu of legal actions that could be taken against the Trump Administration to keep the program intact. The County will also champion legislation that protects DACA individuals, and, in the short term, address the immediate needs of DACA youth and young adults through the County Office of Immigrant Relations and the Behavioral Health Services Department. Those services include legal workshops, financial opportunities and mental health counseling.

Support for DACA was also echoed by other speakers at the news conference at the County Government Center, including DACA recipients Mitzia Martinez and Kevin Gaytan, Supervisor Cindy Chavez, County Executive Jeffrey Smith, Chief Operating Officer Miguel Marquez, Deputy County Executive David Campos, South Bay Labor Council Executive Officer Ben Field, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce representative Mimi Hernandez and Asian Law Alliance Executive Director Richard Konda.

There are 24,000 DACA recipients in Santa Clara County, according to the Migration Police Institute; more than 200,000 DACA recipients in California, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; and about 800,000 across the nation.

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

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