- Action #1: Tell Governor Newsom to publicly support the Vision Act!
- Action #2: Pass H.R. 1177/S.348 – U.S. Citizenship Act NOW!
- Action #3: Carmen cared about families and children. Ask to pass H.R.2766/S.1375 – Families Belong Together Act in her name.
Last week, our much loved and respected Ventura County supervisor Carmen Ramirez tragically died in a traffic accident. She tirelessly spoke at every local event in support of environmental justice, homeless rights, abortion rights, immigration rights and the needs of the communities she served. Before becoming the first Latina in county history to become an elected supervisor, and the first Latina chairwoman of the board, Ramirez had been, for a time, the president of the Ventura County Bar Assn. and was later elected to the State Bar of California’s board of governors— now called the board of trustees. She also served as a longtime board member for the Center for Civic Education, a nonprofit that promotes the study and practice of democracy, and was appointed to the Commission on State Mandates by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012.
She had so much more planned, and now it’s on us to carry it through.
Action #1: Tell Governor Newsom to publicly support the Vision Act!
The VISION Act passed the Assembly and is currently on the Senate Floor. This legislation would protect community members who have already been deemed eligible for release from being transferred by local jails and our state prison system to immigration detention. and ensures that our local and state tax dollars are not used to funnel immigrants into dangerous health conditions in immigration detention, violate Constitutional protections, and separate immigrant families and communities. The situation is urgent – right now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is deporting our immigrant and refugee families and neighbors because California allows local and state law enforcement to partner with ICE.
Contact email: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/
Here’s a sample to start – add in your own voice if you can. There is a call script in here too.
Dear Governor Newsom,
I am writing to ask you to publicly champion AB-937 – The Vision Act, and to urge our state senators to place it before you for your signature. This legislation embodies the best of California values of racial justice and equality by ensuring that all residents, including refugees and immigrants, are not doubly-punished – torn from their communities and families when they are eligible for release from state or local prison. It is supported by more than more than 180 civil rights, faith, labor, and community organizations as well as veterans’ groups in defense of their members who’ve been deported after serving this country.
This bill was also dear to the heart of our much-beloved Ventura County Supervisor Carmen Ramirez, who was tragically killed in an accident last Friday. How pleased she would have been to observe how your Medi-Cal expansion, the nation’s largest college savings program and the first free school meal program, improves the lives of all in this county she loved so ferociously. But she still expected more. In her name, and in the name of all who believe as she did – that our state has both the capacity and the ethical responsibility to treat all our community members with fairness and compassion – please align the moral compasses of hesitant state senators with your strong and public support of this bill and finally bring this VISION to California.
- (bit.ly/VisionCA) Thousands of immigrants and refugees in California are unfairly targeted for deportation by ICE — Governor Gavin Newsom can end this by signing AB 937 – The Vision Act.
- (Fact sheets, graphics, explainers, social media kits here)
- (advancingjustice) Why Veterans are Organizing for the VISION Act (AB 937)
- (NIJC) Decriminalize Immigration.
- (CalMatters) Protect immigrant communities from sheriff’s collusion with ICE.
Action #2: Pass H.R. 1177/S.348 – U.S. Citizenship Act NOW!
It’s happening again…10 years after the DACA program first started taking applications. The fate of 640,000 DACA recipients is once again dependent on the decision of federal judges in New Orleans. A negative decision would have devastating consequences for them as well as for over 5 million children, who could have one or both parents deported, and our economy. In 2019, the libertarian CATO Institute, estimated that their loss would shrink economic growth by $280 billion.
The U.S. Citizenship Act would provide an 8-year path to citizenship to many of the estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, as well as an expedited path to citizenship for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders,and an expedited path to those who entered the country as children (also known as “Dreamers,” including recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program), and farmworkers. (Full explainer here.)
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want to thank Rep./Sen. [___] for supporting the [Rep.= H.R.1177/ Sen. = S.348] Act. However, our DACA residents are again endangered by the whims of a judicial panel. There’s no time to lose in passing this legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients who have not only made a home in this country, but have actively worked to provide for its economy.
Additional script for legislators who knew Carmen Ramirez: Our late county supervisor, Carmen Ramirez, championed all that this bill would protect – the future of people in our community that we count as friends, family, colleagues, essential workers, neighbors, and fellow taxpayers and business owners. In her name, please get this bill passed.
(Contact information below)
Action #3: Carmen cared about families and children. Ask to pass H.R.2766/S.1375 – “Families Belong Together Act” in her name.
The trauma that more than 4000 children suffered by being deliberately separated from their parents by the Dept. of Homeland Security’s “Zero Tolerance” immigration deterrence policy was a crime. All those behind the creation and implementation of this policy, with its underlying strategy to permanently prevent family reunification, should face charges in The Hague for crimes against humanity. (Read this extensive history of the rise of this policy here.)
Although Biden signed an executive order to continue tracking down and reuniting the 1,500 families that remained separated when his administration took office, approximately 700 families still have not been officially reunited. Some families may have found each other without reporting it, fearing any further interactions with the U.S. government.
These is no adequate reparation for stealing and traumatizing children. Many now suffer from PTSD and other mental illness directly related to their experiences. The very least we can do is pass H.R.2766/S.1375 – Families Belong Together Act, which offers humanitarian parole for parents entrapped in this nightmare, and a pathway for both parents and children to achieve legal permanent resident status, including access to benefits and services that are available to those admitted as refugees.
Additional script for legislators who knew Carmen Ramirez: We in Ventura County mourn the loss of Carmen Ramirez, our county supervisor and huge advocate for families and and immigrant communities. In her name, I ask that Rep./Sen. [___] passes this bill immediately.
(Contact information below)
- Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
- or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
- Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
- and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
- Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com