The T administration had set its sights on dismantling Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protected 800,000 “Dreamers” who came to the US as children. On September 5, T said that Dreamers whose work permits were set to expire by March 5, 2018 would be given only until Oct 5 to submit an application to renew their work permit and immigration status for a 2-year extension. The arbitrary one-month deadline was designed to be difficult to meet. A $495 fee was also required. Thousands refused to give updated personal information to the government and most likely they’re all screwed whether they renewed or didn’t. Trump is giving congress 6 months to act on DACA; meanwhile, the T administration said that DACA recipients would be “eligible” for deportation by the end of those 6 months. Huge demonstrations in the Bay and elsewhere were held to defend DACA in specific and immigrants in general.
On Sept 28, ICE announced they had arrested 500 immigrants across the US in the previous 5 days, concentrating on Sanctuary Cities, which often are cities with big immigrant populations. ICE always incarcerates immigrants, but specifically mentioned Sanctuary Cities in order to intimidate jurisdictions that had enacted or were considering sanctuary laws. The Trump administration is attempting to multiply the number of immigration enforcement agents by using local police as surrogates. The California “Sanctuary State” bill, SB 54, signed into law on October 5, now prohibits that. In response to SB 54 ICE Acting Director said: “ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites….” Of course, this is what they’ve been doing for months: conducting at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and worksites.
Pacifica Social Justice formed in January, 2017. Our first project was to get the Pacifica City Council to pass a Sanctuary City Ordinance. In April we gathered 1,400 signatures from residents, workers, and visitors who support Sanctuary City. On September 25 the City Council heard powerful and moving statements from 60 supporters, including students, immigrants, educators, attorneys and activists. The Council voted 3-2 to make Pacifica a Sanctuary City, but a second vote on the Ordinance is required, which will take place the day after UltraViolet goes to press. The Ordinance is complementary to the new California State Sanctuary Law, yet stronger in some ways.