Santa Clara County leaders have called on the public to share their thoughts on anticipated changes in immigration policy under President-elect Donald Trump.
The county’s Children, Seniors and Families Committee will hold an immigration hearing Thursday. The panel, a subcommittee of the Board of Supervisors, will use that feedback to shape local policy and figure out the next steps for supporting the region’s foreign-born residents.
Trump’s campaign rhetoric about ramping up deportations has inspired fear in communities throughout the South Bay, where 40 percent of the population was born abroad. His election last month prompted a host of local agencies to start game-planning in case the incoming president makes good on his threat to crack down on illegal immigration and undo what few reforms were enacted under the current president.
The county and city of San Jose founded their respective officers of immigrant affairs before the presidential campaign, but events of the past yaer brought renewed focus to immigration policies. Both the city and county immigration offices connect residents with citizenship services, literacy and vocational training and a path to higher education. The county’s Office of Immigrant Relations launched a website, www.ImmigrantInfo.org, as an informational hub for people looking for support services.
Last week, county supervisors unanimously voted to offer legal representation to undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation. The vote tasks county counsel with coming back with a report today about the cost and logistics of that plan.
Local officials have also been cracking down and warning residents of a surge in notario fraud, in which legally unqualified people represent themselves as able to help people with immigration and residency issues. San Jose and the county offer free resources to connect people with legitimate help.
San Jose libraries have also set up what they call Citizenship Corners, which connect people with information about tests, literacy and naturalization.
— Supervisor Cortese (@SupDaveCortese) December 10, 2016
Meanwhile, county Supervisor Cindy Chavez—who chairs the subcommittee hosting Thursday’s immigration hearing—will kick off that meeting with a presentation on immigration issues related to public safety and justice, public health, behavioral health, education, data protection and child welfare.
Next will be a community report by local leaders. Invited speakers from various nonprofits, law firms, schools and various other agencies will talk about the impact of immigration policies on their clients, students and residents. Each person will have two minutes to address the committee.
After a public hearing, the committee will wrap up with a discussion about the next steps. Translation services will be available in Vietnamese and Spanish.
WHAT: Immigration hearing
WHEN: 1 to 4pm Thursday
WHERE: County Government Center, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose
INFO: Clerk of the Board, 70 W. Hedding St., San Jose