Strengthening immigrants' rights and community response

Almost two years into the Trump administration, our community continues to respond to the escalated presence and terror that the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) brings entering and deporting members of our 805 community.  Although the Sheriff’s Departments relationship with ICE continues to be the focus of CAUSE’s immigrant rights advocacy efforts, we remain active responding and clarifying rumors of ICE presence in our neighborhoods.

For over a year, we have been utilizing our ALERTA mass texting system to be able to clarify rumors of ICE presence in our region.  Our text alert system has sent out dozens of warnings about confirmed immigratiom raids and new ICE tactics, dispelled false rumors, and shared know your rights information nd citizenship fairs with thousands of local families.

To organize the efforts of the Central Coast Immigrant Rights Coalition (CCIRC), we launched a new website at www.805immigrant.org, where you can also find our 805 Immigrant Facebook group.  Use the website and Facebook group to find updates on local immigrant rights events and legal resources. Please visit us and share with others!  In addition,  we fiscally sponsored and fundraised for the Immigrant Legal Defense Center, which is providing free legal assistance to local immigrant community members facing deportation. Visit and support  the efforts of the ILDC, providing a valuable resource to community.   

With a dedicated team from Santa Maria to Oxnard, the 805 Immigrant team launched (with the great help of MICOP) resource sheets that include information and contacts to properly respond to someone being detained by ICE.  This includes resources for Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, and Ventura County.

We began 2018 with the implementation of the strongest state law protecting our local resources from being taken advantage by ICE and Trump’s deportation machine with SB 54, the California Values Act.  Our phone banking and advocacy helped gain the support of our local elected officials, including Assembly Members Monique Limon and Jaqui Irwin. 

However, this success didn’t come without a backlash seeking to criminalize our immigrant community, spearheaded by a federal lawsuit from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration.  City Councils across the state began to join in support of the lawsuit, including several cities outside of the immigrant heavy neighborhoods CAUSE has a base in the Central Coast. Yet, our allies in Eastern Ventura County and San Luis Obispo County beautifully and effectively packed City Council meetings in Paso Robles, Camarillo and Thousand Oaks to stop these efforts in their tracks, with Simi Valley being the lone exception in the 805 that support the anti SB54 lawsuit.

Now, we focus the rest of 2018 on ensuring that the California Values Act is properly implemented by our Sheriff’s Departments, using the procedures of transparency called upon by the TRUTH Act, which requires accountability and transparency on all collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE.  This includes public forums for the community to give input and be reviewed by the respective County Board of Supervisors, which are planned to take place later this year.  Please be on the lookout when we announce when those meetings are taking place!

CAUSE wants to send a big Thank You to the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) and the ICE Out of CA coalition for helping us be connected to the statewide immigrant rights movement for the last several years. 

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