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SAN JOSE, CA – County Superintendent of Schools Jon R. Gundry joined Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese and a host of community leaders at a press conference preceding the hearing in San Francisco of the lawsuit filed by Santa Clara County challenging President Trump's ability to withhold federal funding by Executive Order from local jurisdictions that the President considers "sanctuary" jurisdictions.
Supervisor Cortese emphasized that Santa Clara County does not consider itself a "sanctuary" jurisdiction, but a Constitutional jurisdiction.
"This is not just about immigration," said Gundry. "This is about upholding current law and preserving our rights under the US Constitution."
The press conference highlighted a recent study conducted by the Center for American Progress, "The Effects of Sanctuary Policies on Crime and the Economy." The findings of this study show that sanctuary counties have less crime, less poverty, lower unemployment and higher incomes when compared to non-sanctuary counties. The study is in response to the Trump administration's immigration policy.
Federal funding supports vital programs that affect the most vulnerable student populations including Special Education, Migrant Education, Foster Youth, and preschool programs. Cutting funding to these programs would impact the entire school community.
"There would not be a child, or family with children, that would not be affected," Gundry said. "California is already severely underfunded in its public education system, this would put us in a severe crisis."
At their March 15 meeting, the Santa Clara County Board of Education unanimous passed a resolution to support the complaint filed by the County of Santa Clara against the President and other officials for declaratory and injunctive relief from the Executive Order. If enforced, the Executive Order will harm undocumented students, their parents, and ultimately, the entire school community.
In order to address the unique harm and extensive impact of such an Executive Order would have on school districts, the SCCOE will join with other school districts across the State of California, as friends of the court or "amici curiae" supporting the County's complaint.
"The Santa Clara County Office of Education, Santa Clara County Board of Education have signed on to the Amicus (Curiae) Brief because we think this is essential in order to protect the interests of our most vulnerable students and families," said Gundry.
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