Sonoma County---Enact an ICE oversight board to protect our students!
This petition had 117 supporters
We are educators and school staff from across Sonoma county. We are writing to request that Sonoma County officially create an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) subcommittee of the existing county IOLERO (Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach).
This ICE subcommittee would have the mission of engaging with and monitoring the local San Francisco ICE field offices in order to help protect our students, our community, our values, and our community social capital. 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 law enforcement review 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 review board.
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.
Like nearly all California educators, we have students whose families may have very similar stories and circumstances to those of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos (in Arizona). We have students who may be DACA dreamers or who may have older siblings who are DACA dreamers. (In Seattle, a non-criminal DACA dreamer with a 3-year old American child was just arrested by ICE agents who plan to deport him.)
We now have a reasonable fear that one or more families of our students will be torn apart by the agents of the SF ICE field office. This unnecessary act would create fear and trauma for our students and our school community. It would be the forceful imposition of foreign values on our community, county, and state. However, the current federal administration and ICE have made it clear that such actions are in line with both their authority and with their intentions. Our hope is that if we, in Sonoma, speak up on this issue, we can prevent cases like that of Guadalupe Rayos from occurring in our school communities. It will be a tragedy if it happens, even if it happens only once. But, to be clear---the evidence suggests that there are already plans, authority, personnel, and resources collecting in SF ICE field office to inflict just such a tragedy upon us. The default is that such a tragedy or tragedies will likely occur. We should to take strong, immediate action to prevent such tragedies by setting up a county ICE review board.
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 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.
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