Humans Are Not Illegal: Immigration Justice For All

In California, every human life deserves dignity.

California is not the sanctuary state it claims to be. A hierarchy of human worth has been created based on self-interest mired in white supremacy, xenophobia, and capitalist interests. No one’s safety or well-being should be based upon their immigration status. Policies full of loopholes do an insufficient job of protecting and supporting all California residents. 

Until our federal government can abolish ICE, Fatima will fight to minimize its impact as much as possible, ensuring that immigrant families feel as safe and secure as possible.

Immigration Issues in California

Demanding Humane Treatment for Immigrants

Sacramento must do everything within its power to protect all California residents, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, from the oppressive entity that is ICE. This means: 

  • Banning solitary confinement in the name of protection. 
  • Demanding accountability for the mistreatment of those who have been, or are currently, detained by border and detention officials by creating an oversight process over civil immigration detention. Ensuring that the California Department of Justice is notified immediately in the event of a death. 
  • Ensuring that all migrants and asylum seekers are granted real due process.
  • Protecting migrants’ access to services and work opportunities while stuck in court proceedings so that they may provide for their basic needs.
  • Severing all possible interactions between the current criminal legal system and the current immigration enforcement system indefinitely, so that undocumented immigrants are not automatically entered into detention for any engagement with the criminal legal system.

Want to learn more? Check out these resources:

Kaiser Family Foundation & LA Times Survey of Adults with Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Peterson Foundation report on health care cost comparisons across countries.

Moving Beyond Providing Sanctuary to Providing Access

Fatima will also advocate for:

  • Increasing state funding to improve and expand legal services programs for undocumented people, including deportation defense, regardless of criminal history.
  • Ensuring that the state does not use immigration status as criteria for discrimination and inequitable treatment when distributing public benefits, particularly in public health emergencies like the current pandemic.
  • Advocating for federal pathways to security and citizenship for more undocumented residents, including DACA and DACA-like protections, as well as the reconsideration of DAPA with the next administration.
  • Granting undocumented families the right to vote in municipal and state elections, while ensuring that they are protected from ICE while exercising this right.
  • Creating a public-facing, service-industry grade system that reports an establishment’s treatment of all of its workers, including forms of exploitation such as wage theft.
  • Requiring all schools to provide parents with a translation of students’ IEPs and other related documents in the native language of the parent. 

Want to learn more? Check out these resources:

Kaiser Family Foundation & LA Times Survey of Adults with Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Peterson Foundation report on health care cost comparisons across countries.

Our Plan

We need to deeply divest from our current system of incarceration: it is clear that it is not keeping our communities safe or helping us find accountability, healing, and restitution from harms committed. To this end, we must drastically reduce our jail & prison populations and decrease funding to police and prison systems. Many people are incarcerated simply because they do not have the resources to post bail or because they’re incarcerated for crimes of poverty. By spending less money on keeping individuals incarcerated and instead investing in robust social programs, we firmly believe our communities will be able to better thrive and reduce violence.

Instead, we must invest in alternatives to incarceration, including restorative justice approaches and mental health care for those in and out of prison. People need access to fair and affordable housing, good paying jobs, free healthcare, and a high quality education. As we move from punitive systems to preventative supports, we will fight for:

  • Prioritizing funding for basic community services like health care (physical, mental, sexual and reproductive), housing, and jobs that help people to manage their lives independently and in community. 
  • End qualified immunity.
  • Prioritizing decarceration.
  • Making possible the adoption of substitutes for services currently rendered by law enforcement, highway patrol, judicial systems, and corrections.
  • Ensuring that when 911 calls are made, a police officer is not sent for every issue by creating a method of funding a “community force” where  there are no guns involved, adequate training in restorative justice, conflict resolution, de-escalation training and any other form of nonviolent  training, an independent prosecution of any crimes and a drastically increased number of social workers and psychologists. 
  • Abolishing all policing in schools and ending the criminalization of students, and investing in social-emotional supports and other school- based interventions that support the well-being of school communities. 
  • Ensuring rehabilitation and re-integration services for re-entry from incarceration.
  • Ending the death penalty in California. 

In addition, we need justice systems that truly focus on accountability and healing, not punishment. We must end practices that perpetuate racist outcomes and avoid accountability. Black Lives Matter, and that means we must end qualified immunity; eliminate prosecutorial use of gang enhancements that increase sentences for those apprehended with alleged (and sometimes falsified) gang ties; end cash bail; expand public access to the Commission on Judicial Performance, which provides oversight over judicial misconduct; and ban the use of predictive algorithms that can perpetuate biases in policing or judicial decision-making. We must then take those funds and invest them in restorative justice measures.

We must remove state agents with any history of misconduct or engagement with explicitly white supremacist organizations and offer ongoing anti-racism support for all judges and decision-making staff. Simultaneously, we can diversify and democratize who enters judgeships by enabling campaign finance reform and requiring judgeship information in voter guides. We should also disallow anyone involved in public safety from taking police union or police money.

Finally, we must recognize the humanity of incarcerated Californians.  While we live in a world that maintains systems of incarceration, we can ensure that already-marginalized Californians are not further disadvantaged by those systems. We can:

  • Support families with loved ones in incarceration, including allowing for flexible visitation hours for school-aged children; and ensuring access to parenting classes, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, mental health care, or vocational counseling, particularly for those desiring to reunite  with kids currently held in foster care
  • Provide essential healthcare resources and services, including for the trans and gender-diverse community and for pregnant inmates 
  • End solitary confinement in all types of incarceration, including for trans and gender-diverse folks and anyone diagnosed with more severe  mental health challenges.

submit your endorsement