Immigrants are #WelcomeHere

This nation and State are on stolen land – a land of settler colonists, historically revised as immigrants.  The Spanish, Franciscan Friars, Mexican Colonizers, US Colonizers & just about every group since, excluding slaves and their descendants, have been settler colonists.  Being a settler colonist isn’t shameful, but a fact.  Immigration to this space has long been a part of our history.

The American Dream, the California Dream has always been a point of pride, a symbol of economic prosperity – a belief that we all can contribute to and benefit from the good, the successes, we helped create for the prosperity of our present and for our futures.  History shows however this American & California Dream has excluded many, specifically California Indians, Black, Chinese, Mexican, and countless other Peoples since 1850.  Our legal and socioeconomic systems have limited the successes of some, preying upon and further marginalizing entire communities – forcing assimilation, overpolicing, denying rights and denying social services.

Fresh off the heels of horrific imperialist action in the Middle East and across Central America, Congress and President Ronald Reagan instituted the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, commonly referred to as “Amnesty Law” which both made it illegal to hire undocumented immigrants, established financial penalties to employers for doing so, and also granted amnesty to about 3 million undocumented immigrants in the United States at the time.

Our current immigration system, in all its horrors, is relatively new.  It’s almost 30 years old and a direct result of Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, neverending federal reach with the Patriot Act have overhauled immigration enforcement in the United States laying the unconscionable groundwork for the massive deportation machine that exists today in the world’s largest immigrant detention system.

For decades California’s government voluntarily helped ICE detain migrants & asylum seekers through California jails, prisons, locality police, public education, and a vast array of State and local agencies.

These governmental abuses contributed to the over-policing, mass incarceration, and deportation of Black, Brown and Indigenous communities in our State while exponentially increasing profit shares for Geo Group, CoreCivic, Management and Training Corporation, Emerald Corrections, & others.  Under lucrative arrangements, our State leased immigrant detainees for sharecropping work – mostly harvesting food for American consumers – at exponential rates not seen since the Reconstruction Era & Jim Crow.

For decades now, our State has freely collaborated with the federal government, actions that have ultimately subjected immigrants in their care to:

  • Violations of international law, standards & precedent
  • Unconstitutional treatment
  • Physical, psychological, sexual abuse
  • Eugenics and Reproductive injustices
  • Free labor
  • Family separations
  • Child trafficking

While our State has wasted our tax dollars encouraging others to distribute illegal, cruel and inhumane punishments – our State has catapulted the occupancy rates and profits of these for-profit prisons.  Our State and localities governments have colluded with these corporations at all our moral, ethical, financial, & economic expense. This has never been about our public safety and these corporations will continue to place their financial gain above internationally recognized rights, treaties, or the public interest of safety.

And as a result, we’ve fostered a for-profit prison system that completely relies on federal contracts, our tax subsidies, and exploited asylum seekers’ free labor to exist.  We choose to make them wealthy at our own expense.   Our federal government has allowed this.  Our State government has allowed this.  And our current Governor upholds this status quo every time he has voluntarily collaborated with ICE & encouraged all our State and localities’ departments to do so.

No more.

I believe it’s critical to have Solidarity with immigrants, migrant workers, asylum seekers & families who have come to the United States, to California, in search of better lives, peace & economic prosperity.

Our government cannot continue to participate in the world’s largest immigrant detention system and must immediately end our active participation in the harassment, overpolicing and terrorizing of Indigenous, Black, and brown communities across our State under the guise of safety.

I support a family-based and just immigration system that is grounded in abolitionist theory, expands public safety and strengthens protections for civil and human rights for all within our State and Country.  It’s long overdue – our government must ensure that California is a welcoming State, and the sanctuary State it is meant to be.

As your Governor, I believe we can be united in opposition to deportations and the criminalization of migrants continues to disrupt #OurCalifornia’s families, communities & economy. I believe that we can aim to achieve full civil and human rights for all inhabitants of California through humane, safe, diverse and innovative policies.  When #OurCalifornia’s most marginalized are protected and succeed, we all win.  I intend to End Poverty in California, and I believe the following policies that ensure Immigrants are #WelcomeHere will help us achieve this:

  • Ensure immigrant & migrant inclusion, eligibility, accessibility & use of the Ending Poverty in California office and services:
    • Universal Housing for All;
    • Increase housing services and State funding of current migrant housing cooperatives across the State;
    • #MediCALForAllCalifornians
    • #SNAPForAll
    • #ChildcareForAllCalifornians
    • #EducationForAllCalifornians
    • State Jobs Guarantee
  • Create an intersectional, immigrant-led, pro-Black & pro-Queer abolitionist commission to create policy that ensures California remains a constitutionally-protected & Supreme Cour rod the United States upheld  Sanctuary State and fulfills all of its Sanctuary State values;
  • Expand California’s Sanctuary State Law to prohibit all California agencies and departments, including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Office of the Governor, from voluntarily working with ICE and Customs & Border Patrol  – actions must be in alignment with warrants or specific federal mandates;
    • Reporting and accountability requirements which include easier and expedited pathways for community members to hold Californian agencies accountable and communicate additional loopholes that CBP & ICE will try to carve out as a result of this;
    • Enforcement of noncompliance and accountability for harm by any State employee or Agency with prosecution under the Office of the Attorney General;
    • Limit the information that can be shared by any Agency within the State of California with CBP & ICE;
  • Uphold our State’s Constitutional ban on privately operated prisons and federally operated immigrant detention centers in the State of California (AB32) and apply extensions for previously excluded spaces privately owned or operated and staffed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation;
  • Create legislation which challenges the Constitutionality of the existence of ICE and it’s ever expanding powers under the Patriot Act with the sole purpose of abolishing ICE;
  • Challenge the constitutionality of the Federal Bed Quota for Immigrant Detention (34,000 beds at any given time) which allows ICE to expand contracts through private prisons to house federal immigrant detainees and asylum seekers.  This Federal Bed Quota provides incentives to maintain private prison contracts and keep immigration detention beds full.
  • Call for the federal repeal of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA):
    • Abolition of the “cancellation of removal” limitation standards
    • Abolition of penalizing nonviolent crimes;
    • Abolition of “unauthorized immigrant” eligibility to apply for legal status — even if he had married a US citizen, or qualified for a green card through a relative;
    • Abolition of the 3- and 10-year bars;
  • Call for the removal and repeal of sticking immigration provisions in federal welfare reform and the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (or AEDPA);
  • Call for the federal repeal of the 2001 Patriot Act as it is an endless expansion of federal domestic surveillance, overpolicing, and still unconstitutionally targets Immigrants of Middle Eastern and African descent;
  • Call for reform to the REAL ID Act of 2005 as the law makes it more difficult for immigrants to obtain asylum;
  • In supporting a family-based & just immigration system grounded in civil and human rights:
    • Expand Legal Protections within California Superior Court for California residents and Asylum Seekers of all ages, including but not limited to:
      • Immigrant Right to Counsel within civil proceedings in our State;
      • Re-instituting eligibility to make an international human rights claim to asylum in our State – even after traveling through a so-called safe third country or after being in the United States for one year;
      • Provide a humane, transparent & accountable alternative to ORR-custody of unaccompanied children;
    • Create legislation which challenges the Constitutionality of recent withdrawals of Flores Agreement decree – allowing the federal government and agencies to indefinitely hold migrant families who lack the legal paperwork to be in our State or this Country – a direct constitutional violation of due process;
    • Create legislation inspired by the Flores Agreement which previously protected migrant children – however instead of a 20-day limit on detaining families in immigration jails within our State, it would be no more than 48 hours and fully align with the 1997 Federal court-ordered consent decree resulting from a federal class-action lawsuit identifying  physical and emotional harm was done to immigrant children held for extended periods in the detention facilities;
    • Support federal legislation that:
      • Creates a fair and accessible pathway to citizenship for DREAMERS, TPS recipients and all undocumented people living in our State and Country;
      • Ensures poverty penalties are removed from the USCIS application process for citizenship & asylum;
      • Expands the number of refugees and asylum-seekers admitted to the United States of America;
    • Support the Preliminary Injunction of the USCIS’ Fee Rule Imposing a Wealth Test for Citizenship – as Unprecedented Costs on Asylum Applications since it would have raised application fees for many essential immigration benefits by as much as 500 percent, while also eliminating most fee waivers for qualifying low-income immigrants.  This Fee Rule is a penalty for the Poor and is in complete opposition of Ending Poverty in California;
      • Challenge the constitutionality of current and future application fee schedules for immigration benefits, including citizenship and asylum which penalize the Poor;
  • Create legislation which challenges SCOTUS Nielsen v. Preap precedent ruling that immigrants with criminal convictions, no matter how minor the crime and no matter how long ago the conviction (including time served, and fines paid), can be detained indefinitely without any possibility of a bond hearing.
    • Especially as both liberal and conservative justices alike stated major concerns that “the mandatory-detention law itself is unconstitutional” and the basic constitutionality of holding people without bond will be called into question in future cases which they would rule differently on.
  • Support federal legislation that has an abolitionist framework in:
    • Defunding the world’s largest immigrant detention system;
    • Abolition of ICE & CBP;
    • Abolition of all for-profit prisons contracted and subsidized through the federal government;
    • Abolition of forced labor programs;
    • Abolition of refugee-filled for-profit orphanages that traffick children;
    • Ensure public safety through the expansion of and reinstatement of non-imprisonment and abolitionist-framed risk assessment tools for federal civil cases;
  • Provide my Office of the Attorney General with the resources and support to formally investigate and prosecute For-profit prisons, and all related firms involved with and profiting from the world’s largest immigration detention system.  Hold these Corporate Empires of the prison industrial complex to account for the social injustices they’ve caused, violating Constitutional & Civil Rights, Unethical/Illegal Business Practices, systemic physical, psychological and sexual abuse and generational trauma, and lobbying for significant influence and favor of our government officials & corruption:
    • Investigation & Prosecution sets the foundation to ensure our government has addressed Private Prisons,  and the prison industrial complex’s corruption, mismanagement and highlight that our government works to ensure it doesn’t continue. It sets precedent and warns others of the outcomes for bad actors. It allows the public to again have competitive and ethical markets for consumption of public goods;
    • Applying sanctions when found responsible for violations of the law will include restitution and up to public domain/asset forfeiture;
  • Ensure Immigrants are not left out or behind in decriminalization efforts and reform;
  • Invest in community-based & community-led organizations that work in migrant & immigrant neighborhoods in an effort to fulfill Ending Poverty in California’s goals of promoting local economic development, assisting small businesses, and encouraging homeownership:
    • As local economies across #OurCalifornia rely on our diversity, ensure resilient communities and increasing immigrant financial market participation with extensions to capital for immigrant-run small businesses from our Public Bank;
  • Eager to work with the California Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Task Force to ensure all recommended strategies can be funded and achieved for #OurCalifornia through public policy, action & the robust social safety nets we deserve in our resilient and sustainable communities;
  • I am eager to work with the Cultiva La Salud, Mujeres Unidas y Activas, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), ICE out of LA, La Cooperativa Campesina, Líderes Campesinas, Oasis Legal Services, Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF), California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), California Farmworkers Foundation, Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration (ORAM), Prisoner Advocacy Network, California Coalition for Rural Housing, Asian Immigrant Women Advocates, Comité Cívico del Valle, La Cocina, California Domestic Workers Coalition, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, PODER, California Farm Bureau Federation, California Rural Legal Assistance, Chinese Progressive Association, Anti-Racist Action-Los Angeles/People Against Racist Terror (ARA-LA/PART), Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), CARECEN Los Angeles, San Diego Rapid Response Network, Accion Latina, APIENC (API Equality – Northern California), Rosenberg Foundation, Proteus, Inc, Migration Policy Institute, Grassroots Policy Project, Sustainable Economies Law Center, Institute for Policy Studies & all other grassroots, impactful organizations and pillars in fields of the immigration, human rights, education, social justice, environmental justice, employment, housing and research communities to ensure the needs of ALL immigrants in #OurCalifornia are inclusive and sustainably met;
  • State Deputization of chosen grassroots nonprofits who are successfully providing dynamic and critical social services to #OurCalifornia to act as an extension of our government in expanding their work and services with the funding, staffing and State recognition they deserve;
    • Will participate within the State Jobs Guarantee Program;
  • In the true spirit of Upton Sinclair’s End Poverty in California campaign, I will call on fellow Citizens, Socialists, Governors, and fellow Socialist Gubernatorial campaigns across this country to adopt and implement the same.