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We at Multifaith Voices for Peace and Justice are deeply concerned about the proposal that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors roll back the “Civil Detainer” Policy, a pro-immigrant policy that residents of our county have been deeply proud of since its passage in 2011, assuring that our local law enforcement officers would not collaborate with ICE in its treatment of immigrants. This policy has accorded with our commitment to a society with equal opportunity for all, free of discrimination and hatred for marginalized populations.
The policy is being reconsidered in response to the tragic murder of Bambi Larson in San Jose on February 28th. Because the alleged perpetrator is an undocumented immigrant, anti-immigrant forces are using this moment to rush through a roll-back of a policy that has been a model throughout the country, effectively punishing the entire immigrant community for the crime that one immigrant is alleged to have committed.
MVPJ has joined with a wide range of community organizations working to defend the current policy, or at least to slow down the rush to judgment so that a thoughtful decision can be made, not in the immediate aftermath of tragedy.
We urge all of our partners to encourage their community members to do two things:
(1) Call members of the Board of Supervisors to express your view that immigrants are a vital part of our community, entitled to all protections due to them by American law. (Click here for all the needed information for calling.)
(2) If at all possible, come to the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 9th. The meeting begins at 9am, and this topic is scheduled for approximately 10:30am. A large turnout of citizens with moral objections to a change in the policy will speak volumes to the supervisors.
The statement regarding this concern from the Forum for Immigration Rights and Empowerment (FIRE) Coalition, Pangea Legal Services, PACT (People Acting in Community Together, SIREN (Services, Immigrant Rights & Education Network, Sacred Heart Community Service and other community organizations, begins:
"Members of the Forum for Immigrant Rights & Empowerment (FIRE) Coalition, and its supporters, express our profound condolences to the family and loved ones of Bambi Larson who was tragically murdered in San Jose on February 28. We also urge the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and San Jose officials to not distort or politicize this tragedy into an issue regarding immigration by altering the County’s current civil detainer policy. At this time, healing and unity is what is needed rather than attempts to cause division among our County’s residents. We ask our elected officials to keep the County’s current policy intact so that all community members - regardless of immigration status - can feel safe and are treated equally."