VISION Act Delayed

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Excerpted from the ICE Out of California coalition

September 10, 2021

The VISION Act, a bill to end the prison-to-deportation pipeline will return next year

Late Friday night the CA State Senate made the VISION Act, AB 937 by Asm. Wendy Carrillo, a two-year bill. The broadly-supported bill is expected to resume moving through the legislative process in January of 2022, and advocates are planning sustained efforts across the state to continue building momentum for the proposal.

While the VISION Act maintained backing from a majority of Democratic Senators, a handful of legislators reneged on their commitment to support in the wake of a misleading attack from a small number of police lobby groups, sparking at least four community-led protests in Orange County, Vallejo, Los Angeles, and Riverside. Advocates will continue to educate members of the legislature on the urgent need to uphold equality under the law.

Unfortunately, the delay in passing the bill will give extra time for prison officials and the predatory practices of police like San Mateo County sheriff Bolanos who will continue to collaborate with ICE.  A recent poll found that 80% agree that regardless of what country a person was born in, they should be released from prison into their community once their sentence is completed and not transferred to abusive and deadly ICE detention.

Abolish ICE!

For more info: www.iceoutofca.org and #VISIONAct

San Mateo: Stop Cooperating with ICE

No More Cooperation with ICE

In 2018, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s office (SO) transferred 51 people directly to ICE when they were due to be released from jail, instead of letting them go home to their families and communities. In contrast, in neighboring Santa Clara and San Francisco counties, zero people were turned over to ICE.  Zero! San Mateo County ranks #9 for highest number of transfers to ICE out of the 58 counties in California. With relentless attacks on immigrant communities coming from Washington, it is even more important than ever to protest against the continued collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE here in San Mateo County and everywhere.

The Truth Act (The Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds Act) was approved by the governor in 2016. The law places a number of steps that have to be followed when an ICE agent requests an interview with a person in custody. It also makes records related to ICE accessible to the public under the California Public Records Act (CPRA).

demo is San Francisco

In 2017, SB 54, the Sanctuary State Law, repealed laws that involved local law enforcement agencies notifying ICE about a potential undocumented immigrant for specific crimes. It also prevents agencies from using their resources to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest people for immigration enforcement purposes. The law is said to be based on establishing trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement for effective policing and public safety. It does permit local law enforcement to transfer people to ICE who have previously been convicted, or in some cases indicted, for certain crimes.

The TRUTH act also required, starting in 2018, local governments that provided ICE access to at least one individual during the year to hold at least one public community forum and provide information about ICE’s access to individuals. Most counties and some cities in CA therefore have to hold Truth Act Forums. In early October, in Contra Costa County, protesters pleaded with the Board of Supervisors and the sheriff to stop notifying ICE when undocumented immigrants are released from jail. They also wanted the supervisors to impose some form of community oversight of the Sheriff’s Office (SO). Dozens of people spoke but the sheriff (David Livingston) insisted that he intends to continue cooperating with ICE agents and the supervisors took no action.

The 2019 Truth Act Forum for San Mateo County will be held on October 23rd. At that Forum, the sheriff will present the SO’s latest policies concerning immigrants, there will be a statement on behalf of immigrant rights advocates about the data, and then community members will speak.

The SO has recently issued a new policy, which it claims conforms to SB 54. Some of the highlights of the new policy are: the SO will cooperate with ICE only if an inmate has been convicted of a serious or violent felony in an adult court. However, the policy goes on to say that the SO will provide information to ICE if the person has been acquitted or is granted bond or is out on time served.  Does that make sense?  No it does not. In addition, if people who are charged with a felony take a plea deal down to a misdemeanor on the same offense (called a “wobbler”), they could still be turned over to ICE when released because the crime could be charged as a felony, even though the person was convicted of a misdemeanor. The SO, in fact, has loosened the rules on cooperating with ICE since last year’s Forum.