San Jose to Provide More Resources for Fearful Immigrants

Community members should know that the local government is preparing to provide immigration aid. Photo Credit: Pixabay

Estephany Haro
El Observador

As the days get closer for President Obama to pass on the Oval Office to president-elect Donald Trump, some cities are preparing to bring protection to immigrants.

San Jose presented a plan on Tuesday at the City Hall to provide “safe spaces” for immigrants in San Jose. The plan was approved on a 9-1 vote.

The Santa Clara County supervisors agreed to invest about $1.5 million over two years toward legal aid for undocumented immigrants in danger of deportation by the incoming administration,” according to the Mercury News.

Jose Romero, a Mexico native who has lived in the Bay Area for 15 years says he feels safer knowing that the City of San Jose is opting measures to keep the immigrants safe. “It feels good to know that our mayor is doing something to protect us,” Romero said.

Part of the plan approved includes a communications campaign aimed to educate the immigrant community on their rights by providing information through hotlines, text messages and social media as well as creating safety plans.

Creating safe spaces in libraries and “easing restrictions to allow churches to provide sanctuary to undocumented residents if deportation sweeps occur,” is also another part of the plan, per the Mercury News.

However, some residents in San Jose are still fearful of what will happen to them after president-elect takes the office in a few days.

It’s tough to think about what’s going to happen, especially when your children are scared and it’s hard for them to understand that everything will be alright,” said Susana Ortiz, who is undocumented and has been living in San Jose for 11 years.

Bertha Solano arrived to the United States 16 years ago with four children, since then, she has worked up to three jobs to raise her children. However, she was laid off from her job of eight years, and since then her children have been providing for their household.

My three oldest children have DACA and our lives become dependant of this program,” Solano said. “I am not working at the moment because I got laid off and our family is able to have a roof over our heads because of my kids that are able to work with their work permit.”

Solano’s sons applied for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) in 2013 and since then they have been able to go to school and work with the work permit that was given through the program.

If Donald Trump removes DACA I don’t know what we will do, the only reason why they’re able to work is because of that program,” Solano said.

President-elect promised during his campaign that he would remove DACA, prompting fear amongst “Dreamers”.

However, even though the City of San Jose will provide help for immigrants, Romero said that he’s still worried about his future, “We don’t know how much hatred he has towards us and the extent he’s willing to go,” Romero said.

His wife, Rosa Romero is also uncertain of her future but she said she’ll use all the resources available to her. “If they’re there for us then we have to take advantage,” Romero said.

Earlier in December, the San Jose Police Department reaffirmed to the community that authorities will not cooperate with federal authorities to implement new immigration policies. San Jose has long be known as a Sanctuary City, as has San Francisco in the North Bay.