California becomes ‘sanctuary state’ as governor signs bill
The “sanctuary state” bill — a far-reaching proposal aimed at preventing California law enforcement officers from helping to carry out President Donald Trump’s promised crackdown on illegal immigration — has been signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, along with 10 other measures to protect undocumented immigrants.
“This action protects public safety and ensures hard-working people who contribute to our state are respected,” Brown said in a statement Thursday. The law takes effect Jan.1.
To many, Senate Bill 54 was the centerpiece of California’s anti-Trump resistance on immigration. It was introduced on the first day of the legislative session in December — just weeks after Trump’s election — and passed in the session’s final hours.
Arnulfo Solorio’s desperate mission to recruit farmworkers for the Napa Valley took him far from the pastoral vineyards to a raggedy parking lot in Stockton, in the heart of the Central Valley.
Solorio recruiting workers in Stockton.
Carrying a fat stack of business cards for his company, Silverado Farming, Solorio approached one prospect, a man with only his bottom set of teeth. He told Solorio that farm work in Stockton pays $11 to $12 an hour. Solorio countered: “Look, we are paying $14.50 now, but we are going up to $16.” The man nodded skeptically.
Solorio moved on to two men huddled nearby, and returned quickly. “They were drug addicts,” he said. “And, they didn’t have a car.”
Before the day was through, Solorio would make the same pitch to dozens of men and women, approaching a taco truck, a restaurant and a homeless encampment. Time was short: He needed to find 100 workers to fill his ranks by April 1, when grapevines begin to grow and need constant attention.
As Islam becomes more and more woven into the fabric of American society, new groups are being formed as part of Islam’s historic communitarian outreach toward and concern for civil society in general. A recent organization that bears very honorable mention is the Muslim-Latino collaborative.
Given the orientation of the current Trump administration and the administration’s campaigns, both obvious and subtle, against Muslims and Latinos, the Collaborative is both timely and to the rescue.
To learn more about this important civic addition, The Muslim Observer has interviewed Shakeel Syed, the Muslim initiator of the Collaborative, and a well-known and respected member of both the Muslim and non-Muslim community.
As harsh federal immigration policies undermine the well-being of immigrant communities and our State, California must defend due process and bolster affirmative relief from deportations. Deportations separate families, destabilize communities, and cost the State millions of dollars.
Through a robust investment in the expanded “One California” Immigration Services Funding, a program administered by the Department of Social Services, California can support keeping families together and communities whole.
California must do everything in its power to protect and advance the rights and opportunities of immigrant communities, as well as reduce both the emotional and economic impact caused by either detention or deportation.
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Featuring ACLU's Legal Director, Ahilan Arulanantham
A U.S. citizen says her rights were violated after she was detained by immigration authorities in San Bernardino
Guadalupe Plascencia said she was alarmed when a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy asked her to sign papers related to her immigration status.
The 59-year-old hairdresser from San Bernardino had spent the night of March 29 in jail because of a decade-old bench warrant related to her alleged failure to appear as a witness in a court case. During her night in jail, Plascencia said a deputy asked her to sign documents acknowledging that officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had inquired about her.
“Why?” Plascencia asked. “I’m an American citizen.”
Confused and scared, Plascencia did as she was asked, assuring herself that the entire ordeal was a mistake that would soon be cleared up.
The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights.
As outlined in Labor’s fiscal 2018 plan, the move would fold the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, now home to 600 employees, into another government agency in the name of cost-cutting.
The proposal to dismantle the compliance office comes at a time when the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials unsympathetic to previous practices.