Immigrant rights activists joined Rep. Zoe Lofgren and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo Wednesday afternoon to denounce President Donald Trump’s pair of executive orders to construct a border wall with Mexico and to deport undocumented immigrants.
At a news conference held outside the Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network office in San Jose, Liccardo pledged that the San Jose police would continue a “decades-long tradition” of refusing to enforce federal securities, environmental, tax or immigration laws.
“That’s not what we do…Our police department’s energies and focus are best spent preventing harm to our residents from violent and predatory criminals.”
Liccardo said that he had closely read Trump’s executive orders and determined that San Jose would not be in violation of them by refusing to enforce immigration law.
Liccardo said, referring to the 10th amendment:
“Regardless of what this president or this Congress might do, we have one tool that is more powerful than either Congress or the president, and that is the U.S. Constitution.”
Lofgren said that Trump had “made it clear in his opening statements that he thinks anyone who’s overstayed a visa, anyone, whether they’re hardworking, whether they’ve been here 20 years and own a home or a business, if your papers aren’t in order, you are a subject of his ire.”
Noting that Trump plans to triple the size of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Lofgren said:
“I think we can fully expect that he intends to go back to raids in communities.”
Lofgren recalled past failed deportation actions like the Secure Communities program, which disrupted community policing and violated people’s rights, she said.
Lofgren said, assuring the crowd that litigation would be brought in addition to community action:
“This is not the America we believe in…We’re going to fight for it, and we’re going to win.”