San Jose City Council Responds to Obama’s Immigration Order

San Jose is moving forward with plans to establish an office of immigrant services, though a final decision isn't expected until next fiscal year's budget approval in June.

The City Council on Tuesday will discuss the plan, which would create a new department to help people who qualify for relief under President Obama's executive action that shields 5 million immigrants from deportation and provides a path to legalization.

City leaders envision the office as a resource for foreign-born residents to provide city services, including help starting a business, and offer guidance with other issues, like finding work or applying for healthcare.

"President Obama's executive action granting relief from deportation gives thousands of our San Jose residents a path toward a better quality of life, and we should feel duty-bound to assist them in navigating the process," Mayor Sam Liccardo writes in a motion asking to agendize the discussing at a future council meeting. "Moreover, because this is an issue that effects thousands of San Jose families, it is one the entire council should have the opportunity to weigh in on."

In a joint memo, Liccardo, Vice Mayor Rose Herrera and Councilman Chappie Jones suggest designating someone from the City Manager's office to oversee the new department.

San Jose has one of the largest immigrant populations of any major U.S. city, with 40 percent of its residents born overseas, according to the U.S. Census. An estimated 118,000 are undocumented.

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for January 27, 2015:

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Nothing yet from Sam on fixing the service delivery problems resulting from woefully inadequate staffing at SJPD?

    • If I had to guess , Im guessing he writing another book on how to deal with people not believing the first book

    • I have a brilliant solution to the SJPD staffing problem, Wheedle.

      Offer a ballot measure to voters that proposes the following:

      A. If SJPD officer are represented by a union (SJPOA is a union), the City of San Jose MUST pay them salary and benefits EQUAL to the median salary and benefits of ALL unionized police officer in the U.S.

      B. If a police officer is NOT represented by a union, the City of San Jose MAY offer whatever market rate of pay and benefits required to fully staff the SJPD with qualified officers.

      It would be a WIN/WIN/LOSE proposition.

      Citizens of San Jose would win because they would have a fully staffed police department of qualified officers.

      Police officers would win because they would be paid what they’re worth, and likely would be paid more than they’re getting now if the SJPOA isn’t lying about all the opportunities there are for higher pay in other PDs (i.e., the “market rate”).

      The SJPOA would lose, because officers would learn that the SJPOA isn’t really doing anything for them that isn’t already available to them in the free market.

      I’m a genius.

      • Sorry Bubbles, but your proposal would fail for the following simple reason which was amply illustrated by the debacle of Ferguson: police officers NEED the kind of professional representation that only an organization like the POA can provide. It’s all too easy for politicians and wonks to sacrifice the life, livelihood and personal and professional reputation of a police officer on the altar of political expedience when that officer does something in the course and scope of his duties which is both lawful and moral but which is politically difficult. This is one of the main reasons pretty much EVERY law enforcement officer is represented by SOME kind of professional organization. Of course collective negotiation of pay and benefits is equally important, but it’s certainly not the only reason.

        Your proposal would do absolutely nothing to change the nature of San Jose’s public safety crisis. In fact, I would guess that it would only exacerbate the staffing problems already extant in the city. Furthermore, your proposal would require that the city develop a far larger HR infrastructure since it would necessitate ongoing negotiation with individual officers (and, presumably, other employee classes since the ballot measure you propose would almost certainly affect ALL employee classes and groups). It would also open the door to far more ‘churn’ or turnover of individual officers as they would constantly be looking for better employment options anywhere and everywhere they can.


          For the sake of an informed discussion, I invite you to put a number of relevant facts on the table:

          A. Are you an actual San Jose Police officer?
          B. Are you a member of the San Jose Police Officers Association?
          C. Are you an official of the San Jose Police Officers Association?
          D. Are all San Jose Police officers required to be members of the SJPOA?
          E. Are all San Jose Police Officers who are not members of the SJPOA required to pay “agency fees” to SJPOA?
          F. How much are the dues and fees required to be paid by San Jose Police officers to the SJPOA?
          G. Does the SJPOA make cash contributions to political candidates or political campaigns or ballot measure campaigns.
          H. What candidates for President, Senator, Congress, State constitutional office, or state legislature received received cash contributions from SJPOA since 2008?
          I. Can a member of the SJPOA or a San Jose Police offficer who pays an agency fee to the SJPOA withhold the portion of his payments that are used to support the SJPOA’s political activities?

          Thank you for your cooperation in informing and educating the citizens of San Jose.

          • And what, pray tell, do you do. Also give us your salary, benefits, bonuses, and any additional income. We also want to know your address to determine your living condition, cars you drive, etc. does that feel good?

      • Ever heard of freedom of assocoation? Why would an officer chose to take “Market rate pay” from SJPD and give up the rights and legal protections POA membership? especially when they can go get employment with another City at Market Rate pay AND have all the priveleges assoxoatied with POA membership in that town?

        • > especially when they can go get employment with another City at Market Rate pay AND have all the priveleges assoxoatied with POA membership in that town?

          What? ! ! !

          You are missing the point.

          SJ police officers are NOT paid market rate pay; they are paid union negotiated pay.

          And the SJPOA is claiming that the market rate pay in other cities is a better deal than San Jose’s union negotiated pay AND wonderful SJPOA “protections”, so much so that officers are going to other cities in droves.

          Get your story straight.

          • No they are not paid union negotiated pay. San Jose Police officers are paid less than what the POA neogitiated with the City for in 2008.

            All future increases are set by the terms laid out in Measure V. There is no negotiation. The POA can ask the City for x,y &z and all the City does now is respond with “measure V says we can only pay you…..what you currently earn … rake it or leave it.” I

            Then poa has already done this dance . Please pay attention to the recent history. Also note that none of these things the former mayor and council sold to voters can be changed without going through another round of ballot initiatives. it is how the politicians can now say “it’s out of our control, we didn’t necessarily want this hut, the voters did and they have spoken…you’ll have to take it up with them… ok mo c ING on let’s get this immigration department done shall we.”

    • Just asking a question pertinent to a major theme of the campaign. There is a 200 page book that supposedly solves the problem I asked about. Wondering when words will turn into action.

      • Weed the article had no mention of Police response times. Your question was offtopic to the council agenda in the article. After you, anonoff stepped in and I saw all the usual stuff getting posted. I have to wonder if you guys don’t keep some of it on copy/paste.

        I know you guys have been dealt a raw hand. I know our staffing levels suck, but when you keep glomming every post in a non-ontopic manner, you start to lose peoples interest. I know you won’t believe me, but at some point that effort starts looking desperate more than anything. If you and OfficerA really want to keep the respect of the readers, you need to wait for articles related to your plight, then sanefully lay out your evidence. If there’s an article where Sam says, “CRIME IS DOWN 47%” that is when you fire back, “Ya in a one month period!” Don’t keep rattling off the same stuff over and over again on every single article.

        I don’t always agree with SJI, and after scathing me a few years back I like them even less, but they’ve done some good things too (still not enough to square up with me, but time will tell) Sure, they are prostitutes to money. There’s no denying that but still, you don’t fault a dog for being a dog.

        • Sorry, can’t sit by and won’t keep my mouth shut. SJI won’t call the pols out on the plight of the City’s current public safety situation because their endorsed candidates won on their candidates shared agenda of sticking it the “unions” vis-a-vis police and fire.

          Mayor/council won’t do anything to fix the problem THEY manufactured for the simple reason that they would have to admit and accept that there is a problem… yet create a new department to deal with immigration and Council can’t jump quick nor high enough (read spend budget dollars in significant quantities)???

          This is yet another reason why San Jose and it’s cheerleaders at Merc/SJI information directorate lack so much credibility.

          Hearing President Cousin Dave and the BoS are about to ratify a contract with the Sherrif’s increasing pay by 26% over 5 years with 9% retroactive to July 2014… Haven heard the county taking about a measure V or B or fiscal emergency or bankruptcy.

          • Yah but all is not well in the Sheriffs office. We had a lot come to light over the recent sheriff’s election. Even though Smith handily won the election, there was a lot of rank and file that wanted her gone, and for good reason.

        • Cousin Cortese–every dollar spent on PC BS is a dollar taken away from legitimate city services like the SJPD, roads, and other infrastructure, which SHOULD BE the primary duty of the Mayor, Council and Manager.

          • Did you know that we spend over $18bn @ year on the mexican border? That includes the cost of a bus ticket back to Tijijuana.

            Obama’s mandate is basically saying, “We have better things to spend the money on” Like staffing the SJPD.

          • Just to add a bit to this, that $18bn is more than the combined total of what we spend on all federal law enforcement.

            Other things you might know know about undocumented migrants. They’ve pumped over $100bn into our social security, but will never be able to draw from it. So in a sense, they have contributed more to LEO’s retirements than the average citizen has.

      • Yes , you hit another home run JMO. Which one of “THEM” hasn’t heard from someone calling 911 “what took you so long?” Or “What do you mean you aren’t responding?” Or, “you say your too busy? Put down that cup of coffee and tell my kid to respect the rules in my house.” Or, “you’re giving ME a ticket? Why I pay your salary, don’t you have any murders or rapes you could be solving?”

        So YES, it is all about “THEM.”

  2. Where is the County in all of this?!

    This effort by CSJ is noble but misplaced. As was mentioned in the article and by the Mayor himself, a lot of this social service network already exists, but it exists in silos across the city and county predominately in the non-profit sector.

    Why is the largest social service provide, and the constitutionally bound authority, not stepping up to the plate?!!!

    Just look how little was done at the County level to address homeless here in San Jose and across the county. An audit exists of the County’s “efforts” to combat homelessness if somebody wants a good read. The audit highlights the gross mismanagement of millions of dollars intended for direct service but instead was spent on PSA’s and feel good campaigns to bolster awareness of homelessness…. as if no one new there was a problem. No money was spent on beefing up direct service, case management or increasing affordable housing stock.

    SJI really should start looking at the County!!! How does a county with 1.7 million’ish residents, and 15 cities only have five representatives managing a $4.5 billion dollar budget with nothing to show for it? Rural Metro anyone?!!!

    If the County isn’t going to do anything about collating resources and referrals for undocumented people and families, and San Jose is serious about getting into the social service network, then the City should ask the other 14 cities in the county and the County for the money! Because as soon as that service network opens in San Jose every city in the county will be sending their people here.

    It’s a good idea and more work needs to be done to 1) identify what is the County willing to do, 2) what other cities would consider a cooperative, and 3) how long will it last?! Any one remember the business incubator or the San Jose Innovation Center? How much are we still paying for those brilliant ideas???.

  3. Will SJ’s center for illegal immigrants coordinate “services” only to illegal (the word Jennifer always forgets to insert) immigrants who live in SJ, or will they come from far and wide, throughout SC County and beyond? They always seem to find the freebies. Providing “services” to those here illegally is a slap in the face to all those immigrants who came here legally, and a slap in the face of every SJ taxpayer suffering through a decimated PD, bad roads, and shortened service hours for all the legitimate services a city is supposed to provide for its legal residents.

    “Mayor Sam Liccardo writes in a motion asking to agendize the discussing at a future council meeting. “Moreover, because this is an issue that effects thousands of San Jose families…” Sam’s Dad Sal ought to demand the return of all the tuition money he paid for Sam’s education at Bellarmine, Georgetown, and Harvard. Sam still doesn’t know the difference between “effect” and “affect”. Or was that Jennifer’s error? In either case, Spellcheck knows the difference.

  4. No worries San Jose police/fire are in line to take a pay cut of 16% starting in July…..”We are San Jose”…….Cutting units and cutting pay, great stategy for recruiting and retention. I guess I can hire private security for $20, so I can rest easy.

  5. > No they are not paid union negotiated pay. San Jose Police officers are paid less than what the POA neogitiated with the City for in 2008.

    Good grief, Wheedle! It’s even worse than I imagined!

    The union negotiated pay is less than the market rate pay officers get in other cities.

    But thanks to proposition V, officer are getting less than union negotiated pay.

    And proposition V was a consequence of the SJPOA pissing off voters.

    Wow! When the SJPOA screws something up, they don’t cut corners!

    The SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE ballot proposition is sounding more and more like a winner for San Jose police officers.

    I’m a genius. But, I’m repeating myself.

  6. How did sjpoa piss off voters? You still are ignorant of SJPD wage history. Wages have NEVER BEEN market or more accurately “industry rate.” Officers were will to work for SJPD anyway because they believed they were doing valuable effective work that was (as was proven in so many ways) making San Jose THE SAFEST LARGE CITY IN AMERICA.

    After voters bought the line of BS Reed and Co were feeding them and demonstrated their misplaced trust in those politicians many officers (rightly) realized that their efforts were truly UNAPPRECIATED by a fickle and foolish public. Those that could left for industry rate those who can will leave. Those who can retire will do so at the earliest opportunity and take advantage of every contracted retirement benifit they are ENTITLED to.

    As staffing continues to decrease (892 at last official count) while Sam is about to increase BUDGET AUTHORIZED staffing strength from 1109 to 1250 and crime and all its negative impacts will contonue to outrage the public (angry voters).

    You can offer whatver law change you wish…if it doesn’t do anything to completely void V and B an allow for legitimate negotiations between employer (City Gov’t ) and employee (PD, Fire….) you will solve nothing.

  7. Weedster asks: “How did sjpoa piss off voters?” Answer: by taking it’s an “it’s all about me” attitude. We want EVERYTHING we’re entitled to, and fu*k everyone else is the attitude projected by Unland and the POA for years. That attitude completely turned off those who bother to vote, and thus Measures V and B. It doesn’t make any difference if that wasn’t really their attitude. That was what Unland projected, which became the public perception of the attitude of SJPD. And their attitude remains the same to this day. Just read posts by Retired and Officer Anonymous, and Meyer Weed above. They still feel that way. We get everything we want, we’re entitled; and fu*k everyone else. That perception soured the small voting public against all CSJ employees. SJPD needed a good crisis manager from the git-go; but they had Unland instead—the worst possible person to handle the crisis. That attitude is a big reason why Measure B got 70% approval of those few who voted. Before the Measure B vote it was already way too late to argue that the POA was conciliatory, and it was Gurza’s fault, and Reed lied about the amount of unfunded pension liability. That perception still sticks; and, as most of us know, perception is reality. You cannot manage reality, but you can manage perception. SJPOA under Unland failed to manage perception.

      • We’ve been through this all before, except this this bit about Herrera. That’s new , that’s 100% BS and I am disappointed that after all this time you would accuse the PD of foot dragging because of a beef with a council person.

        WOW! Apparently there is no way that lack of staffing and a huge caseload in the assaults unit could have anything to do with the lapse of time between the crime and it’s investigation and resolution.. thanks for your efforts though you obviously had more time on your hands than the detectives.

        Good luck with the thieves at Paul Moore Park. Please be careful and remember to bring plenty of backup as I’ve heard somewhere that there is safety in numbers.

    • “We” only asked for what our contract said we earned for the job “we” did or maybe still do. “WE” only asked for our politicians and their designee to be honest. Honest with us, honest with the publi, honest with the media. Honest with the measures they were putting before the “angry voter” who had been so easily whipped into a frenzy by the lies they were told and so envious and gullible that they believed those lies.

      Unland from the beginning was open and honest in what he said, so was retired anonymous and me (I think). Nobody listened measure V and W would destroy the negotiation process and start the exodus as morale and declined. We all said as there were fewer officers availible to respond to calls response times would go up and services would be cut back. We said measure b was largely illegal in respect to existing employees – the politicians and the public said “we don’t care!” Measure B was gutted by the court and the City continues to defend it to the tune of over $5mil to date. the current mayor says he doesnt care and plans to go ahead with the Measure B provision that assesses employees the 16% t towards the pensions unfunded liability. The diability reforms are in effect that say thanks for your service now go f#*k youself.

      “We” voluntarily gave up 10%of our pay to save fellow officers from layoffs and demotions – no sooner than we did this did the City layoff police and firefighters and demote many in rank for additional salary savings. All the while the usual suspects were revelling in the spectacle of officers loosing their families homes and even committing suicide. It was all ok because the whole world was suffering through the economic crash and…Unland wasn’t a sypathetic voice for greedy union members.

      So as things continue to play out as “we”said they would not by willful design from the sjpd but because that’s how these things predicibly go Enjoy the bed you made while trying to protect your valuables and family…

      “we’ll” get to you when we can.

      Now that reality has set in I wonder how angry you all are now.

  8. >And what, pray tell, do you do. Also give us your salary, benefits, bonuses, and any additional income. We also want to know your address to determine your living condition, cars you drive, etc. does that feel good?


    None of your damn business.

    I’m a private citizen.

    I am strongly opposed to government snooping and invading the privacy of citizens.

  9. By kissing up to Obama and his executive orders, our local leaders are effectively saying “f**k you” to me and hundreds of other law abiding contractors who are among the few Americans left that are willing to do the dirty, difficult, and dangerous jobs.
    Our police force, which had heretofore been handsomely paid to refrain from enforcing immigration laws, can now breathe easy, stand aside guilt free, do nothing for a short career, then spend their gold plated, publicly funded retirement years watching our country disintegrate before their eyes as their union sanctioned lack of action takes it’s inevitable toll.

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