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County of Santa Clara Follows U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Immigration Initiatives

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. –Today, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on President Obama’s immigration initiatives, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA). Following the arguments, the Supreme Court will decide whether to lift the stay blocking implementation of the deferred action programs, and it may issue a decision before the summer break.
The Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations (OIR) has been following all developments since the initial DACA/DAPA lawsuit was filed and has been tracking legal updates from agencies such as the National Immigration Law Center, the Administrative Relief Resource Center and the Migration Policy Institute. Also, OIR staff have been holding community meetings and presentations and exploring strategies with community based organizations to educate immigrants about eligibility requirements for these programs, how to prepare documentation for the application process, and how to best support advocacy groups’ work around implementation of DACA/DAPA.
“Providing the ability for immigrants to legally work in the United States not only impacts their immediate family, but it also provides economic benefits to the country as a whole,” said President Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors.  “Since the implementation of DACA in 2012, many young immigrants have gained the opportunity to continue their education, join the workforce, remain united with their families, and become productive members of our county. Extending that opportunity to their peers and parents is the necessary and humane thing to do.”  
Since the initial executive action announcement was made, the County of Santa Clara has invested $1.8 million to support organizations working directly with potentially eligible immigrants to maximize preparedness, outreach and education. According to estimates provided by the University of Southern California’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII), approximately 77,000 immigrants who reside in the County may be eligible for Administrative Relief.
The deferred action programs will allow aspiring Americans to no longer live in fear of losing their jobs and having their families torn apart,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Chair of the Board’s Children, Seniors and Families Committee. “With a reprieve from deportation, these programs grant the legal approval to work and contribute to our economy and communities.
Implementation of both DACA and DAPA would create stronger communities, protect the dignity of immigrants, create jobs, increase wages for workers, and grow the economy by billions of dollars. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, unauthorized immigrants contribute a considerable amount in taxes each year. The Council of Economic Advisors released a report in 2014 estimating that the federal deficit would be reduced by $25 billion over the next 10 years if Administrative Relief were in place.
“The County of Santa Clara has invested funds in immigration programs for the last 15 years, and we hope the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the President’s executive action,” said Maria Love, Manager of the County of Santa Clara Office of Immigrant Relations.  “Almost 40 percent of Santa Clara County’s population was born outside of the United States, and according to the Migration Policy Institute, approximately 142,000 unauthorized immigrants reside in the county, out of which a large number would likely benefit from a favorable ruling by the Supreme Court.” 
On November 30 2014, President Obama issued a series of administrative reforms on immigration policy known as the Immigration Accountability Executive Action. The main initiative of this executive action was the expansion of the current Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and the establishment of a new initiative known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), designed for parents of U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents who meet the eligibility criteria. Nationwide, these initiatives could provide temporary relief from deportation to approximately 5 million immigrants, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.
Immediately following the president’s announcement, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio challenged the president’s action in a Washington, D.C. Federal court, and 17 additional states filed similar cases at a Texas federal court. Sheriffs Arpaio’s lawsuit was immediately dismissed by the D.C federal court; however, the Texas lawsuit was upheld by a federal district court on August 14, 2015, which preliminarily blocked the initiatives on procedural grounds. The Department of Justice (DOJ) appealed the decision, which was not successful, as the original ruling from the Texas federal court was upheld. Following the ruling, the DOJ filed a request with the U.S Supreme Court to review the Texas ruling. On January 19, 2016, the Supreme Court agreed to take the case for which oral arguments are set to take place on April 18, 2016. 
Media Contact: Laurel Anderson/Marina Hinestrosa, County Office of Public Affairs, (408) 299-5119; Maria Love,  SCC Office of Immigrant Relations, (408) 299-5156.
Posted:  April 18, 2016