Policy Update: News from Washington, California, and Santa Clara County

Will Obama Keep His Word?

In June, President Obama announced that, if Congress failed to move forward on immigration reform, he would take executive action on the issue. Over the past several months, communities and advocates across the country have been weighing in on the Administration with policy recommendations, including affirmative relief to allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and reform our country’s harsh immigration enforcement laws. Yet, during the past several days, reports have emerged the President may delay his announcement until after the elections. Any delay is more than a matter of politics – with 1,100 individuals deported every day, waiting until November or beyond means that tens of thousands of hard-working individuals will be uprooted from America and ripped away from their families. It is because of the pressure that community members have placed on the President that we were able to get him to move towards taking executive action – we need to increase the pressure to make sure he keeps his commitment. Sign the petition from Silicon Valley residents to the President today urging him to move forward on administrative relief.


California and Santa Clara County Remain Leaders for Unaccompanied Immigrant Children

During the summer, breaking news showed the heartbreaking images of tens of thousands of children from Central America fleeing extreme violence in their home countries and seeking safety and shelter in the United States. Prior to August recess, Congress failed to take meaningful action to provide support for these children or ensure their due process rights in their cases – instead, the House of Representatives passed measures that would block expansion of DACA and diminish protections for children. In stark contrast, California and Santa Clara have taken a markedly different approach that embraces compassion. In early August, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to authorize the County Executive to move forward in developing a plan with stakeholders that creates a host family program and legal support for children in our area. In addition, state legislative leaders moved forward legislation, which is headed to the Governor’s desk, that would provide funding for legal services for unaccompanied children and protect their privacy interests. Federal lawmakers should follow the lead of our state and County in ensuring that these children are cared for and have the opportunity to effectively have their case heard in court.

State Legislative Update

With the state legislative session now over, a number of bills that will affect immigrants in California are headed to the Governor’s desk. These include bills that would enhance California’s Low Cost Auto Insurance program; clarifies anti-discrimination provisions of AB 60; allow individuals to provide tax identification numbers to apply for professional licenses; and establish a DREAM Loan program to eligible UC and CSU students who lack access to federal student loans.