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Immigrant rights groups: SB 54 an important step forward

Today, the following immigrant and civil rights organizations – ACLU of California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California, California Immigrant Policy Center, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Day Laborer Organizing Network,andPICO California – released the statement below:

The final version of SB 54 unveiled today will advance protections for immigrants in communities across California. Without this bill, immigrant Californians in many cities and counties would have no protection against ICE’s abusive new tactics which enlist police and sheriffs as deportation officers.

The California Values Act will improve upon the protections of the outdated “TRUST Act” standard and will begin to recognize the value of rehabilitation in the context of a justice system which is all too often unjust.

At the same time, we recognize that California has more work to do to fully embrace the humanity and dignity of every person who calls our state home, including people criminalized by racially biased systems of mass incarceration. We will continue to fight to raise the bar for due process and equal treatment wherever possible.

Ultimately, SB 54 will take us one step closer toward recognizing that all people deserve due process regardless of their background and will help challenge the xenophobic agenda which the federal government – and too many California Sheriffs – are pursuing.