Friday, Mar 11, 2016
Christa Bigue
  • As part of Cities for Action, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors joins a broad coalition of cities and counties that are filing a friend-of-the-court or amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Texas today, urging the Court to overturn a lower court’s decision that blocked President Obama’s executive action on immigration and allow it to move forward.

    Two people sitting on a dais

    The brief, signed by 118 cities and counties representing 35 states, argues that the nationwide injunction blocking implementation of the President’s executive action on immigration should be reversed because it does not consider the harm the injunction imposes on local jurisdictions when it places millions of families in cities and counties at economic and personal risk.

    Locally, six Bay Area counties have signed on to the amicus brief, including San Francisco, Alameda, Marin, Santa Clara, Sonoma and San Mateo Counties along with the major municipalities of San Francisco, San Jose and Sacramento.

    On Feb. 25, 2016, in closed session to discuss personnel and legal matters, San Mateo County supervisors voted unanimously to join other local governments in support of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs. Both programs were created by executive order but were later successfully challenged in court by the state of Texas (joined by 25 other states).

    Together, these two programs provide relief from deportation to about 4 million undocumented immigrants who have been in the country since 2010 with children who are citizens or permanent residents or who came to the United States as children and meet certain educational requirements.

    Board President Supervisor Warren Slocum requested that the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors join this action. “It’s rare that our Board weighs in on a Supreme Court brief, but this will have a direct and immediate impact on the lives of 24,000 San Mateo County residents,” Slocum said. “These residents are largely voiceless. It is up to us to express our support for these programs that bring stability to the lives of children and families and strengthen the local economy in our County.”

    Statistics published by the Migration Policy Institute located in Washington D.C. indicate that there are about 16,000 people in San Mateo County that are eligible for the DAPA program and another 8,000 for the DACA program.

    The Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing arguments in the United States v. Texas case beginning April 18, 2016, and likely render a decision in early June.