News

BREAKING: ICE arrests in Santa Cruz County

Sanctuary Santa Cruz received information yesterday and today that ICE agents operating in Santa Cruz County have arrested two of our neighbors.

We’re informed that the first arrest happened yesterday at the subject’s workplace in Westside Santa Cruz; apparently the man had previously been arrested by local police on charges of being in possession of an open container, and taking a set of pots from the sidewalk.

The second arrest reportedly happened this morning at 5:30 from the subject’s home in Watsonville. This man had been deported in 2010, and returned; reportedly he has sole custody of his two teenaged children.

It’s possible more arrests have taken place, but these two families had our red emergency know-your-rights cards with them, and thus were able to report the incidents to us. We believe both men were taken to the San Francisco Immigration Court, or the Richmond ICE detention center; we’re not sure which.

Emotional and financial support as well as legal representation will be needed in both cases.

I’m making a call to all volunteers to print red cards from our website, and distribute them widely where you live or work, where you go for lunch or dinner.

Download cards here: https://sanctuary-sc.net/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/SSCRedcard4-17-17.pdf

I’m also asking everyone to be on high alert, to help resist these incursions by federal agents into our Sanctuary territory, taking prisoners among some of our most vulnerable neighbors, splitting families apart, and sending waves of fear throughout our immigrant communities. We need to stand as one in solidarity, in every neighborhood. Santa Cruz is a Sanctuary city in a Sanctuary county; we shouldn’t allow this to happen without determined resistance. 

Ni uno más!

2017 Ramadan Open House

Sunday, June 18th at 7:45pm

Bring your friends and neighbors to the Annual ICSC Ramadan Open House Iftar (Dinner).

This is an opportunity to share the blessings of the holy month of Ramadan, understand Islam, meet Muslim friends and neighbors, and enjoy delicious food.

Hosted at Center for Spiritual Living
1818 Felt Street, Santa Cruz, CA

7:45 pm – 9:45 pm
7:45 pm Reception
8:00pm Program,
8:31pm Iftar ( Dinner)

Please reserve by emailing icscsantacruz@gmail.com 

SHERIFF HART, CONTRARY TO ASSURANCES, COLLABORATES WITH ICE

Evidence given to Sanctuary activists proves that Santa Cruz County Sheriff Hart has been collaborating on “immigration-only” enforcement by ICE. Hart refuses to change the County Jail’s policies, which are voluntary. 
 
At a meeting between representatives of the Santa Cruz chapter of ACLU of Northern California; Sanctuary Santa Cruz; Peace United Church of Christ and the Public Defender’s Office on April 19th, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Hart was presented evidence of the ongoing arrangement whereby the Sheriff’s Office notifies ICE of release dates of arrested but non-convicted undocumented locals.
The evidence of Jail-ICE collaboration was made available to Sanctuary Santa Cruz because of the TRUTH Act, signed into law by Jerry Brown in September 2016 and enforced beginningJanuary 1, bringing transparency to local law enforcement relationship with ICE.   The Truth Act places restrictions on ICE access to individuals in custody and ensures that if local law enforcement notifies ICE of an individual’s release date and time, that the agency must also notify the individual and their attorney.  

Several of such notifications were made available to Sanctuary Santa Cruz, documenting Jail notification to ICE of imminent release dates of individuals, even one whose misdemeanor violation was so minimal that they were released from Jail on their own recognizance, not yet arraigned.  ICE was notified of the release time and detained that individual, who is now awaiting immigration court hearing in San Francisco.  
Reports of such Jail-ICE cooperation are now dribbling in. When confronted with this evidence Hart confirmed the Jail policy of cooperation and, at the first meeting, agreed to consider the information presented to him about other jurisdictions who refused to cooperate with ICE.
At today’s meeting (May 10th), however, Hart said that he would not change Santa Cruz Jail policy.

Hart has claimed publically that the Sheriff’s Office and Jails do not assist in immigration enforcement in any way. However, Sanctuary Santa Cruz and other local activists consider that Sheriff Hart’s voluntary sharing of release dates IS assisting in immigration enforcement.
Hart has been considered an exemplary leader of the local law enforcement community and has just become the first law enforcement official to endorse SB54, the state Sanctuary Bill.
“Words are not enough,” comments Ernestina Saldana, lead coordinator of Sanctuary Santa Cruz, “It’s time for Hart to put his actions with his words. There’s no reason for him to cooperate in advance. There’s no reason to make it easier for ICE to deport people. He has a lot of reasons to make it easier for the community to feel safe and keep their families together,” said Ernestina Saldana, lead coordinator of Sanctuary Santa Cruz

Help Make California a Sanctuary State: Urge the CA Assembly to pass SB54, the California Values Act

We have an important opportunity here to make our entire state a sanctuary! Let’s do everything we can do ensure Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act, passes through the California Assembly. 

It has already passed the State Senate, but the Assembly is expected to be a bit tougher of a win for us. 

Click here to download a document that includes the names and phone numbers of the most important assemblymembers to target for our lobbying efforts. This doc also includes a simple call script you may use and expand on if you like. 

Lastly it has simple links to tweet your support for SB54 at these assemblymembers. 

This amazing doc was put together by the ICE Out of CA Coalition. 

Please take the time to make these calls and help ensure SB54 passes!

Click here for a summary of the bill

Click here for the full text of the bill

BREAKING: First protected DREAMer is deported under Trump

As a DACA enrollee, Manuel Montes thought he was safe from deportation. Then a border patrol agent approached him on the street and started asking questions. 3 hours later, he was in Mexico.

The current regime has promised repeatedly that young people like Manuel Montes, 23, will not be targeted for deportation. Young people under the protection of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program “shouldn’t be worried” Trump told ABC News, “I do have a big heart.”
That’s why Manuel doesn’t understand why, 3 hours after being stopped for questioning by a Customs and Border Protection officer on February 17, he was back in Mexico.
Despite the promises of the current administration, ICE has been targeting DACA enrollees since Trump took office- 10 are currently in immigration detention. And now, USA Today reports that Montes is the first documented case of a DACA enrollee actually being deported.

Immigrants in Deportation Proceedings Should Have the Right to Legal Representation

Almost half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent, yet immigrants in our state have no legal right to legal counsel in deportation proceedings.

Almost half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent, yet immigrants in our state have no right to legal counsel in deportation proceedings. Deportations break up families, harm communities, and burden children with the long-term consequences of trauma.

New York has recently become the first state to ensure that no immigrant will be detained and permanently separated from his or her family solely because of the inability to afford a lawyer.

According to the Vera Institute of Justice, without a lawyer, only 3% of detained immigrants avoid deportation. Providing public defenders can improve an immigrant’s chance of winning and remaining in the United States by as much as 1000%.

California needs to follow the example of New York in creating a publicly funded program to provide appointed counsel to immigrants in deportation proceedings.

Read the report on California’s Due Process Crisis by the California Coalition for Universal Representation

NY Becomes First State to Provide Legal Representation to All Immigrants in Deportation Proceedings.

Almost half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent, yet immigrants in our state have no legal right to legal counsel in deportation proceedings. ithout counsel, a study shows, only 3% of detained, unrepresented immigrants avoid deportation, but providing public defenders can improve an immigrant’s chance of winning and remaining in the United States by as much as 1000%.

New York has become the first state to ensure that no immigrant will be detained and permanently separated from his or her family solely because of the inability to afford a lawyer. Without counsel, a study shows, only 3% of detained, unrepresented immigrants avoid deportation, but providing public defenders can improve an immigrant’s chance of winning and remaining in the United States by as much as 1000%.”

Almost half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent, yet immigrants in our state have no legal right to legal counsel in deportation proceedings. Deportations break up families and harm communities. California needs to follow the example of New York in creating a publicly funded program to provide appointed counsel to immigrants in deportation proceedings.

Read the report on California’s Due Process Crisis by the California Coalition for Universal Representation

 

PEACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST HAS FORMALLY JOINED THE NEW SANCTUARY MOVEMENT

Adopted and Affirmed by the whole Congregation in its annual meeting Sunday, April 2, 2017:

As people of faith and conscience, Peace United Church of Christ pledges to resist the newly elected presidential administration’s proposals to target and summarily deport millions of undocumented immigrants, and to discriminate against marginalized communities. In keeping with our core values and Christian practice, we offer our church as a place of sanctuary and refuge for those targeted by hate, or for undocumented persons unjustly subjected to deportation actions, and we will work alongside our friends, families and neighbors to ensure the dignity and human rights of all people.

Looking to the example of Jesus and the ancient traditions of our Christian faith, we are called to practice extravagant welcome, evangelical courage, merciful justice, and loving-kindness. Honoring the history of our United Church of Christ, which recognized houses of worship as refuge for the runaway slave, the conscientious objector, and the Central American refugee fleeing the civil wars of the 1980s, we are called to serve and include neighbors, refugees and all persons in need.

In this spirit, Peace United Church of Christ now joins the New Sanctuary Movement, growing once again among communities of faith standing in solidarity with immigrants and marginalized communities facing immoral, unjust, or discriminatory immigration law enforcement policies. As people of faith and conscience, we will take civil initiative grounded in a moral imperative to embody principles of human rights and dignity, and we will resist harmful law enforcement practices that undermine due process and lead to racial profiling and civil discrimination.

We find ourselves entering a new phase of U.S. history wherein the politics of fear have created an atmosphere of racism and xenophobia across the country. The new administration has not only pledged to criminalize, detain and deport undocumented people, but to target Muslims in ways that will tear families and communities apart.

In signing this pledge, we dedicate ourselves to educating and activating our congregation, to amplifying and responding to the voices of immigrant leaders, and to speaking out against sanctions oppressing any and all marginalized people. We are ready to accompany those facing deportation and discrimination. We remain open to the possibility, when appropriate and sanctioned by our own Church Council, of offering our own church as a physical refuge for targeted immigrants with legal and spiritual support.

In addition, we will support those answering the call to provide sanctuary at churches, schools, hospitals, college campuses, community centers and family homes. We will work with partner organizations to create sacred spaces of sanctuary and refuge wherever needed. Should Peace United not be able to make space in our own facility, we will offer our energies and support to churches and organizations that can and do.

—Jim Weller
Peace United Church of Christ

Report from March 11 YARR Open House & Training by MigraWatch

by Barbara Childs

More than one hundred people gathered at Peace United Church on Saturday, March 11, prepared to learn how to effectively document and monitor the raids on immigrants that are beginning to bear down on Santa Cruz County. The event, organized by a local group named YARR, Your Allied Rapid Response featured information on current organizing activities in Santa Cruz, followed by a two-hour training led by San Francisco Bay Area immigration lawyers who work with a Bay Area group called Migra Watch. The audience gave the two main trainers, one Iranian-American woman and one Mexican-American woman, a standing ovation at the end of their presentation.

The trainers emphasized that ICE works by planting fear. “ICE knows that what it is doing is unconstitutional, but it doesn’t matter to them,” said one trainer. “They are getting people to leave the country because of fear. They throw tables and chairs. They are deliberately trying to create fear.” This trainer said that ICE might turn up in the early hours of the morning with the name of one person. If someone else answers the door, they may apprehend that person. ICE might say ‘If your husband turns himself in we’ll let you go.“ Ernestina Saldana, a leading activist in the local Sanctuary Movement said, “If they want to arrest you, they will arrest you. ICE lies.”

The trainers explained to the crowd what ‘rapid responders’ would be expected to do. In the Bay Area, the phone number of the Migra Watch Hotline is being widely disseminated throughout the immigrant community. If there is a raid, anyone can call that number and a Migra Watch despatcher will immediately send a text message to a rapid responder who lives in the vicinity of the raid (within a radius of 2-5 miles). Once the message is received, the volunteer will text back “I’m on my way,” getting there as soon as possible to begin the documentation process. A similar system is being set up in Santa Cruz.

In order to make the situation more real for the audience, the two main trainers acted out two versions of a raid scenario. In the first version the observer in the role-play was more confrontational, creating a situation in which her phone was confiscated by the police. In the other, the observer kept videoing the situation but slowly inched backwards as the police yelled at her to back up. By minimally complying with police orders, the observer was able to keep videoing the raid without losing her cell phone. The trainers emphasized again and again that it is a constitutional right to document any police action.

Trainers emphasized the importance of staying calm, not talking with the police except to repeat that: “I’m here to document”, and capturing as much information on video as possible. Prospective observers were told to get badge numbers, number of agents, number of people detained, license numbers, identification (or lack thereof) on police vehicles, hate words used, examples of excessive force, weapons used, property damage, property confiscated etc. If more than one observer shows up, the second person can focus on videoing observer #1 to gather evidence on possible violation of observers’ constitutional rights to document. A third person could take notes, using a checklist developed by Migra Watch.

All documentation is being collected in order to protect and defend immigrants in court. Trainers emphasized that the documentation should never be sent out over social media, an act that could potentially put the immigrant family members at more risk.

Trainers said that after a raid, if the family is willing, observers can interview the family members to get more information about the siutaiotn. The family’s needs must always be respected.

During an especially poignant moment, one of the trainers, the Iranian woman who now works as an immigration lawyer with Migra Watch, talked about her own childhood as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. “People often think that I came to America to seek the American dream. That is false!” she said emphatically. “How many of you know that the United States overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in a CIA directed coup in 1953?” Her situation reflects that of many immigrants in this country whose families fled the violent aftermath of U.S. military and political intervention in their countries.

The pre-training session also included tables inviting participants to sign up for groups that are focusing on legal counsel, direct action, story-telling, fund-raising, tech help and more.

For more information:

rapidresponsesSC@riseup.net

Sanctuary Santa Cruz 831-239-4289

http://www.pangealegal.org

 

Helping Young Children and their Families Cope in these Times

A free bilingual workshop for childcare providers, teacher, and others who work with young children.

When: Thursday, March 16, 2017 7-8:30 pm

Where: Santa Cruz County Office of Education, 400 Encinal St. Santa Cruz

Call CDRC to register at: 831-466-5820.

Santa Cruz is processing the effects of the recent ICE raids throughout our community as well as the uncertainty of the national political climate. While all children are affected by the fear and worry in the air, families of our documented and undocumented immigrants are particularly vulnerable. This uncertain atmosphere has a profound effect on the children in our care.

Topics include:

Observing signs of distress in children

Talking with children about what they are experiencing

Teaching parents how to support their children

Caregiver’s legal responsibilities

Putting a plan in place for families in case of emergency.

Support for caregivers under current stress.

Sponsored by Santa Cruz Sanctuary, Santa Cruz County of Education, and Community Bridges. Please call CDRC to register – 831-466-5820.