Santa Clara County / CALIFORNIA
According to a news story released on May 12th by Reuters News Agency, U.S. immigration officials are planning a month-long series of raids targeting women and children from Central America who have entered the country illegally, as well as minors who entered the country without a guardian and have now turned 18 years of age. Reuters reported that “the operation would likely be the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the administration of President Barack Obama this year after a similar drive over two days in January that focused on Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.”
County of Santa Clara representatives are concerned about the effects of the Department of Homeland Security’s potential plans to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants whose asylum claims have been denied.
“It is discouraging to learn about the Department of Homeland Security’s continuation of immigration raids targeting Central American families and unaccompanied minors. Those who are being or have been removed are returning to dire situations in their home countries and often face violence or imminent death,” said President Dave Cortese, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “We ask that the Department follows our County’s example of immigrant integration and stops tearing families apart.”
According to the 2013 Census data, among the foreign-born population in Santa Clara County, more than half (52.8%) have now become U.S. citizens. Two thirds of Santa Clara County families are made up of immigrants, and the children of immigrants.
“The constant fear of immigration raids and deportation results in undocumented residents living in fear, and fear reduces productivity,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez. “Residents of this county, regardless of immigration status, must be allowed to thrive and contribute to the greater good.”
Through various types of immigrant programs, sponsored and funded by the County (The SCC Citizenship Initiative, the Immigrant Action Network, Immigrant Relations and Integration Services, IRIS, and now the Office of Immigrant Relations), the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has continuously renewed its commitment to immigrant communities and their full integration into the society.
The County of Santa Clara Office of Immigrant Relations, OIR, continues to serve as a leading culturally proficient resource that helps local governments and entities to understand the issues, needs, and contributions of immigrants.