For immediate release: March 11, 2013
Contact: B. Loewe, NDLON, email@example.com; Jon Rodney, CIPC, firstname.lastname@example.org; Angela Chan, ALC, email@example.com
New data sparks anger: almost 2,000 Californians deported through S-Comm in January
Statistics reveal failure of ICE's latest guidelines, add urgency to passage of TRUST Act
March 11, 2013 - An analysis of new data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has found that 1,941 Californians were deported in the first month of 2013 alone, an alarming figure that would have been significantly lower were the TRUST Act already signed into law. The revelations spurred renewed calls for the Governor to quickly fulfill his pledge to advance a new version of the bill, which would limit wasteful, extended detentions of aspiring citizens in local jails for deportation purposes.
Despite new guidelines which ICE claimed would focus deportations on the most serious cases, well over a thousand people deported this January fell outside of ICE's (flawed) priorities:
- 238 people had no convictions
- 557 people had minor or "level 3" convictions
- 351 people had minor or "level 2" convictions
The numbers come as recent cases illustrating ICE's excesses have sparked anger in immigrant communities. Just this morning, ICE took Los Angeles day laborer Hector Nolasco from Sheriff Baca's jail after he was arrested for standing up for his rights at the workplace and retaliated against by his employer with a false police report. Also wrongfully arrested and placed into deportation proceedings because of S-Comm is Bakersfield farm worker Ruth Montaño who faces deportation after a bizarre, unjustified arrest over a complaint her small dogs were barking too loudly.
Each day that the Governor delays on the TRUST Act more people like Hector and Ruth are swept into S-Comm's dragnet at an alarming rate of nearly 2,000 each month. The deportation crisis has led other states like Massachusetts and Connecticut to sponsor their own versions of the TRUST Act in what is becoming a trend of local policies setting model legislation that protects public safety and propels the national immigration debate forward.
"If the TRUST Act was signed into law, Hector Nolasco would not be behind bars right now. And if President Obama suspended deportations, Hector could help advocate for new immigration laws that protect labor rights, so this type of thing never happens again," said Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. "Instead, Hector is separated by his family today, because political leaders have a gap between rhetoric and reality. It is immoral to play politics with immigration when the lives of people like Hector and his wife and daughter hang in the balance. Leading on immigration requires actions and requires action now. The most effective way for Governor Brown to influence the immigration debate is to take concrete action to protect the people in his state."