Santa Clara County officials file lawsuit challenging executive order

The County of Santa Clara filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court challenging President Donald Trump's executive order that seeks to withhold federal funding from cities and counties that do not assist his administration in the deportation of immigrants, county officials said Friday.

The lawsuit was filed by the Office of the County Counsel and the law firm Keker, Van Nest & Peters LLP, which is representing the county on a pro bono basis.

The lawsuit argues that coercing cities and counties to cooperate with federal deportation efforts by threatening to withhold unrelated federal funding, violates the Constitution.

County officials said that withholding federal funds would jeopardize critical county services such as health care, mental health services, public safety and early childhood education programs.

"Santa Clara County, the home of Silicon Valley, is a welcoming community that embraces immigrants and we will resist any effort to divide us," said Dave Cortese, president of the Board of Supervisors.

"Immigrants contribute to the very fabric of our nation and we will not stand by while the Trump Administration seeks to impose un-American and illegal policies that undermine our values," Cortese said.

The lawsuit seeks to prohibit the Trump administration from withholding federal funds from states, cities and counties that are targeted by the order.