Union Members and Community Allies Stand Strong with “Sanctuary” Santa Clara, San Francisco Counties

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on the SEIU Local 521 website. 

Workers who are represented by SEIU in Santa Clara County as well as AFSCME Council 57, UFCWUNITE HERESouth Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, and Working Partnerships USAannounced the filing of an amicus (friend of the court) brief in support of a lawsuit filed by the County of Santa Clara against another draconian Executive Order from the President.

The amicus brief tells the stories of front-line workers and the harm that the President’s Executive Order is doing to the services they provide and the local residents who count on them.

“I’m proud to stand together with other public workers and to stand up for the services people in Santa Clara County count on. With our legal action, we are calling for a halt to the illegal and destructive Trump Executive Order that hurts our community,” said SEIU Local 521 member Marilyn Mara, a Public Health Nurse who provides safety-net health services for the county.

Mara says she fears that if services are cut because of President Trump’s Executive Order, she will not be able to conduct visits to provide testing, vaccination, and education to patients in residential substance abuse treatment programs. She fears patients will stop seeking testing and services as a result, and deaths will increase.

In January, the President signed an Executive Order to withhold federal funding from sanctuary jurisdictions. In February, Santa Clara County filed a federal lawsuit to block the President’s Executive Order, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution.

Our public service workers are standing together to protect the essential services all Santa Clara county residents count on – including health care, home care, public health, transportation, social services, and emergency response. At a news conference, members of the union and community coalition detailed the impact the President’s order has had on our work and the people of Santa Clara County whom we serve. Communities are at risk of losing federal funding for health and social services. Jobs may also be cut as a result.

SEIU filed a second amicus brief in support of the lawsuit that was filed by the City and County of San Francisco.

AFSCME CEO (Local 101) President LaVerne Washington said the President’s Executive Order will directly affect the City of San Jose and other Local 101 employers because it will not only deport hard-working residents who contribute to the City but also decimate jobs of Americans and immigrants alike by eliminating grants and funding for transportation, housing, education, food and other programs.

“This Executive Order declares war not only on working families—regardless of citizenship and immigration status—but everyone who lives, works or plays in the City of San Jose and any other sanctuary area that recognizes that immigrant rights are workers' rights,” Washington said. “We have an obligation to our members to do whatever is necessary to ensure that this Executive Order is not allowed to become law.”