As Californians and Unitarian Universalists, we support Assembly Bill 2596, the VISION Act ("Voiding Inequality and Seeking Inclusion for Our Immigrant Neighbors" Act!
Current immigration rhetoric ruthlessly scapegoats the most marginalized among us, including immigrants who have been incarcerated. As Unitarian Universalists, we cannot allow the spread of racialized fear and the criminalization of communities to continue while prison corporations turn record profits from detaining immigrants. We cannot allow the abusive, corrupt, and.violent deportation forces of the current Trump Administration to continue in California, ripping apart families and communities who are here seeking the safety and better life we all want for ourselves and each other.
We support AB2596, the VISION Act, because it will lead the way for other states and the nation in the movement for immigrant rights. We are proud that California has made important progress and limited local involvement with deportations with the TRUST, TRUTH, and Values Acts. But each law was also a compromise, which left some of our neighbors and community members excluded. As a result, too many Sheriffs are abusing their authority under the Values Act, leading to separated families.
The VISION Act closes loopholes in the 2017 Values Act to prevent workarounds that continue to violate our immigrant siblings' rights.
Among its key purposes, the VISION Act:
There are so many stories that show how any local/state involvement with ICE leaves our immigrant neighbors vulnerable to injustice and mistreatment. Because the national government is aggressively pushing state and local governments to carry out mass deportations, California must act to prevent actions that tear communities apart and subject people to danger, even death.
As Unitarian Universalists, we are called to side with love and create a world centered on the ideals of compassion, humanity, and equal justice for everyone including currently and formerly incarcerated immigrants. We believe that ALL Californians, including immigrants, who complete a sentence in prison should be able to restart their life with their loved ones and contribute to our communities.
It is time for the California State Legislatures and Gov. Gavin Newsom to create a world where people recognize the humanity of all who call California home, no matter what they look like or where they were born. This includes our neighbors who have suffered from the injustices of mass incarceration and racial profiling. As Unitarian Universalists, we not only challenge injustice, we also work to create justice. Our immigrant siblings here in California have a vision for a better future, where we no longer build cages, but build healthy communities for everyone.
Our faith calls upon us to demand an end to the abuse and deportation of our immigrant siblings, their children, their families, and their loved ones. Our faith calls upon California's state legislators to create world where all people are free and thriving together, and to pass Assembly Bill 2596 – The VISION Act – for a better California for ALL.
"We should think about how we can love and resource our communities so they don t get labeled in a system that is so cruel and tears us apart." - Phal Sok, Formerly-Incarcerated Immigrant & Activist
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