Action – Tell your supervisor to turn down Consent Agenda Item #39 – “Operation Stonegarden” at tomorrow’s board meeting. (7/23)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is dangling a $390,000 Operation Stonegarden grant in front of our sheriff’s department to tempt our local law enforcement personnel into performing federal immigration enforcement operations, possibly even contravening CA’s own laws, and they’re trying to sneak it through on the “Consent Agenda”. (Tomorrow’s agenda here.)
Pima Co. – 2018: The Board of Supervisors in Pima, AZ, turned down a new contract with Operation Stonegarden, along with a new $1.4 million incentive in Sept. of 2018. (tucson.com) “Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier questions why the Board of Supervisors decided to drop Stonegarden funding after 12 years and a $16 million seat at the Stonegarden table. The question he should be asking is why he and his predecessors failed to use that seat to address the simmering public resentment and outrage that has grown out of Stonegarden enforcement priorities, priorities that have more to do with padding local wallets and pensions than ensuring public safety in underserved areas of Pima County.“
Pima Co. – 2019: After the sheriff had to issue a statement “We have worked diligently to address community concerns regarding participation in this grant program. We have revised policies and practices wherever possible, (He had to affirm in writing his previous commitments for no ICE agency presence in the county jail and that sheriff personnel would no longer perform pretextual stops at Border Patrol checkpoints) the board reversed it’s 2018 3-1 decision in a 3-2 vote (to take Stonegarden funding again. They also added conditions that the indirect cost reimbursement from the program, which is approximately $256,919, be repurposed for humanitarian aid and that the Sheriff’s department had to provide them with complete data of all their activities in the program.
What we can learn from Pima Co. is that Operation Stonegarden’s funding doesn’t go to help local law enforcement to expand normal public safety operations into underserved areas. In fact, such uses are specifically forbidden. What it did do was militarize their sheriff’s department, with deputies on overtime conducting zero-tolerance patrols under the control of their Border Patrol handlers, addressing Border Patrol objectives, not local public safety concerns. Tens of thousands of Pima Country residents were needlessly stopped, detained, interrogated and harassed by deputies during Stonegarden deployments, with tactics that strongly implied racial profiling, not probable cause.
Any “gifts” for local law enforcement from our xenophobic federal government needs to be rejected. We want our sheriff’s department to be concentrating on what’s best for our community, not Trump. There’s no reason for Operation Stonegarden here.
Call/email your supervisors now!
(yes, you can use this one exactly word-for-word!)
Dear Ventura County Supervisor ______________
This letter is requesting a NO VOTE is in reference to Agenda Item #39: (Authorization for the Sheriff to Accept $390,000 in U.S. Department of Homeland Security Funds from the Fiscal Year 2018 Operation Stonegarden Grant Program from the County of San Diego Sheriff’s Department; Authorization for the Sheriff to Sign the Agreement for the Fiscal Year 2018 Operation Stonegarden Grant and the Operation Stonegarden Grant FY 2018 Grant Assurances to Receive Funds for the Sheriff’s Office Participation in the Joint Operations Task Force with the County of San Diego; Adoption of a Resolution in Support of the 2018 Operation Stonegarden Grant Program; and Authorization for the Auditor-Controller to Process the Necessary Budgetary Transactions.)
As a community we have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of ICE intrusions in our communities in order to protect our most vulnerable residents of Ventura County. The state of California passed SB54 in order to secure privacy protections that end the release of sensitive personal information about our residents of which were previously used to advance mass deportations. California now leads the nation in the prevention of the utilization of the role local law enforcements entanglement into ICE activities. In addition, California has curtailed the role of state and local police agencies in federal immigration enforcement.
The proposed grant (item #39), among other actions, will embolden our Ventura County Sheriff Department to engage in border security and border protection with CBP and the county of San Diego. Both acceptance of OPSG (Operation Stonegarden Program), and the participation in OPSG will utilize VCSD personnel and resources toward border security when the VCSD resources are needed here in Ventura County to address important issues of human trafficking, the rise in white supremacists gangs and other important local issues that ensure the safety of Ventura County residents.
Effective community policing in the communities of Ventura County will be eroded if you pass this resolution which allows the Ventura County Sheriff Department to receive funds from DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to accomplish the following program objectives; “to increase capability to prevent, protect against, and respond to border security issues”. Further, the Ventura County Sheriff Department is utilizing a funding program’s’ mandate which is based on “risk to the security of the border” a mandate which is not applicable to our Central Coast here in Ventura County.
Voting to approve this resolution is a betrayal of our values as a community which stands behind our immigrant residents.
Contact your Supervisor by email this evening and tomorrow morning!
Calendar items are voted on BEFORE the meeting starts at 8:30 am WITHOUT PUBLIC DISCUSSION!!! If we want it pulled, you’ll have to be there to demand they pull it from the calendar before that, and they don’t have to do it. Go the the Board Meeting if you can go EARLY: Ventura County Board of Supervisors Chambers – Hall of Administration, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009
District 1 – Supervisor Steve Bennett, Phone: (805) 654-2703, Email Steve.Bennett@ventura.org
Ventura, Montalvo, Saticoy, Ojai Valley, City of Ojai, Upper Ojai Valley, Riverpark, Northwest Oxnard, North Coast & Lockwood Valley
District 2 – Supervisor Linda Parks, Phone: (805) 214-2510, Toll Free Number: (800) 660-5474, Email: Linda.Parks@ventura.org
Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Westlake Village, Oak Park, Bell Canyon, Hidden Valley, lake Sherwood, Somis, Las Posas Valley, CSU – Channel Islands, Portions of the Oxnard Plain, Santa Rosa Valley, Naval Base Vta. Co. Point Mugu, CA Air National Guard and South Coast.
District 5 – Supervisor John C. Zaragoza, Phone: (805) 654-2613, Email: John.Zaragoza@ventura.org
Oxnard Shores, Oxnard, Mandalay Bay, Silver Strand, Hollywood Beach, Hollywood By the Sea, Channel Islands Harbor, El Rio, Nyeland Acres, Del Norte Area, Oxnard College, Oxnard Plain, Strickland, and Portion of Naval Base Ventura County Port Hueneme.
Go the the Board Meeting if you can go EARLY: Ventura County Board of Supervisors Chambers – Hall of Administration, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009