News

Menlo Park may take stand on Trump executive order

City is considering joining the lawsuit brought by Santa Clara County and San Francisco

When Menlo Park's City Council meets Tuesday, it may take a stand on President Trump's Jan. 25 executive order, which states that so-called "sanctuary" jurisdictions should be denied federal grants if they "willfully violate Federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States."

The question before the council is whether Menlo Park should join as a "friend of the court" lawsuits brought by Santa Clara County and San Francisco challenging the executive order. So far, at least 27 people have emailed the council expressing support for this action.

Councilman Ray Mueller, who proposed that the question be put on the council's agenda, said that Menlo Park will suffer adverse effects if the threats are carried out against Santa Clara County. The county, he said, could lose as much as $1.7 billion, from one-quarter to one-third of the county's budget.

That funding goes toward infrastructure projects and social services for low-income and homeless people, he said. Without that funding, traffic and infrastructure conditions would worsen across the region, and there would be more homeless and needy people not getting help regionally.

Sanctuary cities

Definitions vary, but "sanctuary" cities or jurisdictions generally provide protections for undocumented residents. Typically, this means that police do not ask people about their immigration status or cooperate with federal immigration officials to detain people in the justice system longer than they would otherwise be kept in custody.

"Irrespective of where a person falls on the sanctuary city issue, one thing we should all be able to agree on is that local jurisdictions shouldn't be bullied into losing their infrastructure funding and funding for public services based on local control decisions," Mueller said.

Santa Clara County's Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to file a lawsuit against President Trump on Jan. 31. The deadline for other groups to submit "friend of the court" briefs is March 22.

According to Menlo Park City Attorney Bill McClure, the "friend of the court" brief is still being drafted by the law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and is not written specifically for Menlo Park. The idea is that "multiple jurisdictions may join it," he said in an email. The document will not be made public until it is filed.

An attorney at the firm confirmed that it is working on a possible "friend of the court" brief and is doing it on a pro bono basis.

The Menlo Park City Council is scheduled to discuss whether the city should pass a "sanctuary city" ordinance at its April 4 meeting, according to Mayor Kirsten Keith.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Comments

31 people like this
Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 13, 2017 at 8:03 pm

I think it is not equitable for a judge to have ruled that the parents of the young girl shot to death by an illegal alien in San Francisco are not able to sue either the city or the sheriff, for their part in her death.

Although the man claims it was not on purpose, and he was (only) shooting sea lions from the wharf, and he accidentally shot her to death, the man would not have been at the wharf, if San Francisco had not assisted him through their Sanctuary City policies.

If cities and counties are willing to take responsibility for their actions that assist illegal aliens to live here, even if it results in something bad happening, and are willing to forgo any and all federal assistance, then the cities, counties, states, can go for it. No problem.

But with a judge ruling that the parents of the deceased girl cannot sue the city, or the sheriff of SF, that is a problem. It does not square.


17 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Who commits more murders, immigrants or drunk gun owners? If we want to reduce the murder rate, harassing immigrants is not even in the top 100 most effective things we can do.


8 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Longtime Resident - if you're going to complain about crimes committed by illegal immigrants, don't ignore the negligence of the stupid federal LEO who wrongly left the gun in their vehicle, where it was easily stolen.


11 people like this
Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 13, 2017 at 8:43 pm

The article is about Menlo Park considering inclusion as a Sanctuary City. Let me be clear, my comment is not about how to reduce murder rates. That would be off topic.


10 people like this
Posted by Longtime Resident
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm

@ Hmmm. Your point is valid. But that is another topic. The purpose of this article is to discuss Menlo Park being a Sanctuary City and for illegal immigrants.


26 people like this
Posted by MikeCrescentPark
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 13, 2017 at 9:45 pm

Is it ok for a murder to be committed by an illegal alien because overall they commit murder at a smaller rate per capita than the rest of the legal citizen population?

If so, how many incremental murders due to illegal aliens are permissible each year?


5 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 13, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Longtime Resident - you're the one who wandered off topic and I responded. You were discussing what happened 30 miles away. Please, by all means, stick to the topic. I'm looking forward to your comments.


32 people like this
Posted by Aki Muie
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Mar 13, 2017 at 11:55 pm

It's amazing that people here cannot see just how badly businesses exploit illegal immigrants for cheap labor so they can cut corners (no OT, medical, works comp, sick days, 8 hour work day) and how all this illegal cheap labor dilutes the market for fair livable wages. No it's not that they do the jobs Americans don't want, it's they do jobs Americans won't do for an unfair and unlivable pay. I'm from the East coast (Western NY) and THERE, car washes, taco bells, hotel staff, landscapers, handymen, pool services are ALL legal workers. They're high school and college students, single moms and single dad's, people with learning disabilities, and people with limited education. They're also people less likely to be comfortable with 10 ppl living in a 2 bedroom apartment and have a more reasonable expectation for a standard of living.

That's the truth, but we're supposed to turn a blind eye here in California and be accepting of sanctuary status - flippin' ridiculous!


39 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2017 at 12:25 am

The Silicon Valley business model: Eliminate as many jobs as possible through automation. Export any jobs that can't be easily automated to low-wage nations. Import workers from low wage nations to suppress wages for jobs that can't be exported.


16 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 14, 2017 at 10:32 am

Rather than starting from the bottom up = start from the top down. Mexico City if the biggest City in North America. Check it out on Google - formal buildings, big hotels, tourist heavy, many archeological places to visit, coastal areas are rich with hotels. Mexico the country has agriculture, industry, and all amenities available for its citizens. To assume that people are looking for a better life in the US - waiting on tables, cleaning hotels, is foolish. The one thing that Mexico has is institutional corruption at the top level - see the WSJ article today 03/14/17. We can assume the Mr's Brown, Becerra, de Leon are very aware of this. The LAPD has an extensive gang unit that keeps tabs on everyone and where they are at. You also have one of the five richest men in the world in Mexico City who owns most of the businesses - Carlos Slim. So the question on the table is why Mexico persists in being a corrupt country and why everyone lets them get sway with it. Why isn't the church, and other groups pressuring the government to step up to being a big boy country and correct the direction it is going. And why is California assisting in perpetuating the corruption. Anyone at that the top level needs to move us into legal immigration to curtail the human trafficking that is going on.


14 people like this
Posted by i'm all for state and city rights
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm

As a libertarian i'm all for decentralized government but if cities like Menlo Park defy federal rules then they shouldn't receive federal funding. Pretty simple concept........


3 people like this
Posted by Lex
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2017 at 11:08 pm

"The question before the council is whether Menlo Park should join as a "friend of the court" lawsuits brought by Santa Clara County and San Francisco challenging the executive order."

An amicus curiae (friend of the court) does not join a lawsuit. Amici are not parties to the action at all.

Rather, if allowed, they are generally supposed to assist the court by providing information that parties to the action do not deal with and which can be of considerable help.

I doubt Menlo Park has anything to present, other than a me-too. Do tell!

Taxpayers, to draft Menlo's brief will cost you ~$500/hour/lawyer...thousands or tens of thousands with all the revisions to get to consensus.

Why don't you send a low income Menlo kid to college for a year with the money, instead of feeding your civil servant/politicians' egos?


2 people like this
Posted by Lex
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2017 at 11:33 pm

I overlooked that a law firm claims that it will draft the brief for pro bono, which usually implies no firm fees.

But the attorney also said that the brief is not specific to Menlo Park. It's for <insert jurisdiction name(s) here>.

Pure "me-too"...tagging along for ego's sake.

With Donald Trump, Menlo might count costs of a free brief later.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 14, 2017 at 11:38 pm

Lex - excellent - well said.


Like this comment
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 15, 2017 at 8:41 pm

I have to laugh about Hawaii. They do have an immigrant problem - it is the fishing fleet that will not allow the slaves to get off until their contract is over. So I believe there is a law suit concerning that matter and it is not complimentary to Hawaii or their fishing fleet. On the other hand Hawaii has more military installations than any state which it does not like to advertise. Every island is loaded with sensitive equipment. So all of the political hype is just that - something wrong with their concept of who they are. They have a lot to lose if any installation is bombed. I did visit Pearl Harbor last year - that is impressive. It is all a balancing act with no guarantees on the outcome. It is the primary financial center for the Pacific.


3 people like this
Posted by Neomi
a resident of Menlo Park
on May 31, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Such an important issue should not be decided by a few board members. Why not a special election?


3 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 1, 2017 at 10:45 am

I keep reading articles about immigrants who are picked up. Latest is people at Travis AFB working a construction job. The press keeps omitting the central fact that the construction company - the employer is required to get H2 visas for it's workers. Problem in getting Visa is that the company has to be OSHA compliant and provided ACA. So question on the table is why Travis - a government agency - is contracting with a construction company that is not OSHA compliant or has not got the proper Visas for it's workers. The press keeps omitting the important facts here. Is Menlo Park considering providing contracts for construction work that is not compliant with OSHA and that provides ACA to it's workers who they have got the H2 Visa's? So what is the point here - enabling companies to avoid their responsibilities to their workers to save money and bid a lower price to do the work?
Menlo Park needs to step up and clarify what their requirements are for awarding contracts and how else they are doing business in the city.


1 person likes this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Mayfield
on Jun 1, 2017 at 2:03 pm

The same goes for all the cities.Back in 2008 when Palo Alto City Hall did their renovation. They subcontracted the work to A local construction company.Some of the workers were undocumented, when they were issued their security ID badges, the issuing agency (PAPD) gave a blind eye.
Even though the workers most likely not a security issue, their still needs protocol to be followed. NOT JUST LOWEST BID!


2 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 1, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Something is going very wrong here in how cities operate. In the Alum Rock School District - San Jose - they got bond funds to update the schools for heat and cooling. They awarded to a company in SOCAl who seems to have a lot of school bond construction jobs - all unfinished, all in arrears. And they have paid invoices over $350K to these people. The Santa Clara County legal needs to be all over this. So the topic of how and to who contracts are awarded needs to be totally out there to the public. And everyone is going to have to be compliant with the law. Get those H2 Visas - that is what they are there for. There is no reason a working person in a 40 hour per week job has to be vulnerable. The press never mentions this.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

This time we're not lying. HONEST! No, really!
By Douglas Moran | 12 comments | 955 views

Couples: When Wrong Admit It; When Right; Shut Up
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 847 views

One-on-one time
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 602 views