Sonoma County---Create an SF ICE Oversight Board to Protect Our Community!
This petition had 117 supporters
We call upon the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to create an SF ICE Oversight Board with a mission to:
(1) Engage with and monitor the SF ICE Field Office
(2) Bear witness to the SF ICE Field Office impact on individual Sonomans and on our community as a whole---document, study, and report out the full impacts of their actions and policies; highlight discrepancies between our community values and SF ICE Field Office policies and actions.
New ICE policies now mean that the SF ICE Field Office threatens tens of thousands of undocumented Sonoma residents as well as the social capital and moral foundation of our schools, communities, and county. Nearly every undocumented immigrant is now a priority for arrest and deportation. About 1 in 14 residents of Sonoma are now potential targets of the federal government. (A 2013 estimate found that more than 38,000 Sonomans are undocumented.) Unless SF ICE Field Office receives strong, overwhelming feedback from citizens, municipalities, and counties across California, they will likely deport people who have no violent criminal records. These people may be our neighbors, our students, as well as parents, caregivers, or siblings of American citizens. (Across California approximately 13% of public school children have at least one undocumented parent).
We recognize that the SF ICE field office, as a branch of a federal agency, may not have any legal requirement to follow advice or requests of our local SF ICE oversight board, but it would be in SF ICE's self-interest to at least meet with, listen to, and provide information to such a county-sanctioned board. Even if we are unsuccessful at preventing those SF ICE actions which do not align with our community values, we believe it is important to the moral authority of our public institutions that we have some public body to at least bear witness and document what the federal government does or plans to do in and to our community.
We believe there should be some border enforcement and that some violent criminals should be deported. However, it is clear to us that recent Executive Orders expanding categories of immigrants to be prioritized for deportation is not in line with the values of our community, our county, and the state of California
We believe in respectful dialogue and engagement with SF ICE. SF ICE agents have tremendous power to both help protect and to inflict great harm on our community. We believe that their intentions are to protect our community. We suspect that they may do great harm. We do not believe they have a complete understanding of our community, the impact their actions may have on our community, nor a clear understanding of the kind of support we want or need from them. Our expectation is that SF ICE would welcome formal channels of communication and engagement with any community in which they operate.
(More than 100 Sonoma county educators have signed a similar petition in order to protect their students and school communities. If you are an educator, please sign that specific petition at this link: Sonoma County---Enact an ICE Oversight Board to Protect Our Students!)
We also encourage you, as County Supervisors and as private, concerned citizens, to reach out directly to the SF ICE Field Office Community Relations Officer---Rosa Mengesha. We encourage you to call her directly and leave a polite but strong and clear message about how you think new ICE policy shifts might impact our community. Here are two numbers for her: (415) 844-5651 and (415) 844-5866. Her email address is email@example.com.
Thank you for your consideration.
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