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SCC Holds 27th Citizenship Day

The Santa Clara County Citizenship Collaborative will host its 27th Citizenship Day on Saturday, April 8 at San Jose City College from 9am -2 pm, to offer legal permanent residents initial legal assessment and application assistance in 14 languages, at no cost to them, so they can complete their citizenship application forms. Agency staff and volunteers will provide information at two sites in San Jose and Gilroy about payment assistance programs, partial and full fee waivers authorized for the first time by the United Sates Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A simultaneous resource fair will provide information on legal services, resources and benefits for immigrants, such as English as a Second Language ESL, adult education, food, and health care. 
Last year over 1,600 community members participated in Santa Clara County Citizenship Day. In this current political climate, it is important for immigrants have a voice in the decisions the state is facing.  Collaborative partner agencies, over 150 volunteers and more than 50 staff members from Services Immigrant Rights and Education Network, CET Immigration and Citizenship Program, Catholic Charities, Asian Law Alliance, International Rescue Committee, the International Institute of the Bay Area, the SCC Office of Immigrant Relations, The San Jose Office of Immigrant Affairs for the City of San Jose and San Jose City College are ready to provide guidance and assistance.
Registration to attend Citizenship day is free and strongly advised. To register, individuals should call the Citizenship Collaborative at: (408)444-9975. Messages are recorded in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. 

For more information, visit: and
Board Approves $3.5 Million Funding for Legal Representation for Immigrants

Acting in support of immigrants who may face deportation without due process, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved an investment of $3.5 million in legal representation, a Know Your Rights education and media campaign.
The Board’s action at its Tuesday, March 14, 2017 meeting, was a promised response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on increased immigration enforcement of undocumented immigrants.
“Today, the County reaffirmed its commitment to see that undocumented immigrants who face deportation receive legal representation, understand the process and know their rights regardless of their citizenship status,” said Board President Dave Cortese.
The plan includes $2.7 million to fund new attorneys and support staff at community-based organizations that will provide direct legal representation to immigrants in removal proceedings, as well as funding for the coordination of pro bono legal services. The plan will assist an estimated 900 individuals with either legal representation or legal services. 
The plan also includes a combined $600,000 to implement a Know-Your-Rights education and media campaign to inform immigrant residents of their rights when interacting with immigration authorities at home, in the work place and in the community. Another $500,000 was added for work on the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.
In December, Board President Cortese and Supervisor Cindy Chavez called for a   plan to provide legal representation and community outreach in anticipation of changes in immigration policies. In February, the board directed $1.8 million to be invested in legal representation and an additional amount recommended by administration for a Know Your Rights Campaign and outreach to media. On a motion by Supervisor Chavez, the total amount was increased to $3.3 million.  “This is a fund we can grow,” said Chavez. “Money may become available from the state and from fundraising, in partnership with the institution that is doing the pro bono work.”
Cortese added, “The plan we approved today is a strategy among many that we have to protect our interests, values and residents, regardless of citizenship status.  Ultimately, this is a matter of keeping families together and safe.”

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Did you know?

County of Santa Clara and 19 other Cities and Counties across the Nation Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold Constitutional Protections for Immigration Detainees

On February 10, 2017, the County of Santa Clara, Calif., and 19 other cities and counties across the nation joined together in filing an amicus curiae or “friend of the court” brief with the United States Supreme Court, asking the Court to uphold important constitutional protections for immigrants held in prolonged mandatory immigration detention by the federal government.
The brief, authored by the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office, and joined by a diverse group of local governments, was filed in Jennings v. Rodriguez.  The brief supports the arguments of a group of immigrants who were ordered into immigration detention while awaiting deportation proceedings, often for months or years at a time, with no opportunity to be considered for release.  The Supreme Court is reviewing a decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that immigrants in prolonged mandatory detention must be given a bond hearing every six months where an immigration judge can consider whether they can safely be released based on their individual facts and circumstances.
“All local criminal justice systems provide defendants with basic due process rights,” said Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese. “Denying the same constitutional protections to immigrants in deportation proceedings is contrary to our values and costs taxpayers billions of dollars.”
Counties and cities involved in the amicus brief argue that immigrants held in mandatory detention must be given the same basic constitutional protections granted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government to every person who is arrested for a crime.  These basic rights include a hearing where a judge can consider each individual for release based on his or her risk of flight and risk to public safety.  Most immigrants do not present a significant flight risk or risk to public safety.  When immigrants are not given the right to a bond hearing, many who could safely be released remain stuck in federal immigration detention facilities for months or years, costing billions in taxpayer dollars annually.
“Our amicus brief offers an important local perspective, which has been missing from the conversation about immigration detention without bond hearings,” said Santa Clara County Counsel James R. Williams.  “When the federal government detains people without granting them basic constitutional safeguards, taxpayers, families, communities, and local governments pay the price.  We strongly believe the Constitution requires hearings for all immigrants in mandatory detention.”
The amicus brief argues that holding immigrants in mandatory detention without bond hearings also harms their children and families, many of whom are U.S. citizens or LPR.  Detention of an immigrant parent deprives families of the parent’s income and associated health benefits, and may lead to loss of housing and food insecurity.  Children of detained parents often fall behind in school and suffer from psychological problems.  The cities and counties filing the brief provide critical services to their local residents, and face increased and costly demands for social services when parents are detained, including foster care, health and mental health care, housing assistance, other public assistance, and law enforcement involvement.
The cities and counties that joined the County of Santa Clara in the filing include: the County of Alameda, California; the City of Austin, Texas; the City of Baltimore, Maryland; the Town of Carrboro, North Carolina; the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; the City of Chicago, Illinois; the City of Cincinnati, Ohio; the City and County of Denver, Colorado; the District of Columbia; King County, Washington; the City of Minneapolis, Minnesota; the City of Oakland, California; the City of Portland, Oregon; Salt Lake City, Utah; the City and County of San Francisco, California; the City of San Jose, California; the County of San Mateo, California; the City of Seattle, Washington; and the City of Tucson, Arizona.

Santa Clara County Response to New Administration


Highlighting Immigrant Stories: Yoriko Kishimoto's Story

My father was an adventurous scientist and my mother was a modern woman/mother in Japan. They brought our young family over to United States when I was a toddler in 1957 and then back again as a first grader in 1961. By age six, I had crossed the big Pacific Ocean by ship three times! I started elementary school here not knowing a word of English.

I grew up the shyest student you can imagine! But I did work hard. My parents must have been proud that all four of their children went on to graduate school in various fields. I received an MBA from Stanford.

Somehow I overcame my shyness to start my own consulting business, write a book about America’s future (entitled The Third Century) and eventually run for the city council to become Mayor of Palo Alto! I became the first Asian elected to the City Council in 2001. I was proud to lead the city in “Building a Green Economy through Innovation.”

I am blessed to have a wonderful husband and two daughters.

Shared by: Yoriko Kishimoto (a former mayor of Palo Alto, CA)

Source: madeintoamerica


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