Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman, 4th District, has introduced a resolution supporting Assembly Bill 937, introduced by Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles).
Also known as the VISION Act, AB 937 will prohibit jails, prisons and other public agencies from transferring community members who are eligible for release to United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
“By supporting and signing onto the VISION Act, L.A. City Council is making it clear that we recognize the humanity of all people who call our city home,” Raman said. “We stand proudly in defense of the rights of all residents, including refugees and immigrants who make up the vibrant community that is the heart and soul of Los Angeles.”
Despite recent reforms to California’s penal code, approximately 70% of people detained in ICE custody nationwide have been funneled there through the criminal justice system, Raman said. They are effectively subjected to double punishment solely because they are refugees or immigrants, disregarding their humanity, records of rehabilitation, stable reentry plans and community support, Raman added.
“California’s Department of Corrections and local jails are denying Californians who have served their sentences and are set to be released the right to be with their loved ones by turning them over to ICE, where they face indefinite detention and the threat of deportation,” Carrillo said. “This double punishment of non-citizens, whether they have green cards or are undocumented, betrays our values of rehabilitation and wastes state resources. The VISION Act affirms our most sacred value – equal protection under the law, no matter where you are born.”
If adopted, the VISION Act would stop state prisons and jails from handing over immigrants to ICE.
“This is an opportunity for California to set a model for the rest of the country, and as we all know, as California goes, so goes the nation,” Raman added.