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Statement: ICE should not politicize tragedy in Tulare County

2018.12.20 – Today, the ICE Out of California Coalition Steering Committee, including Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, ACLU of California, California Immigrant Policy Center, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and PICO California, released the following statement.

We mourn the horrible tragedy that took place in Tulare County this week and condemn the violence which wrongly cut multiple lives short and left several others wounded. We extend our condolences to the families and loved ones who are grappling with tremendous grief and pain.

We are issuing this statement today because it is wrong for ICE to politicize a tragedy to advance its harmful agenda. Yet that is precisely what this troubled federal agency is doing.

To prevent future tragedies, we need to look at what happened in full and complete context. The fact someone who commits a crime happens to be an immigrant is not related to their immigration status. What’s more, it is wrong for Sheriff Boudreaux to demonize all immigrants who will come in contact with law enforcement. That will only further undercut community trust, already damaged by the the Sheriff’s “predictive policing” attempts to profile community members over unfounded assumptions about future crime.

As we wait for further details about the causes of this tragic spree, it is clear that we must come together to work toward solutions that address issues like gun violence. The California Values Act, in fact, is part of the solution, helping victims and witnesses work with law enforcement and also preventing abuses. It is short-sighted for the Sheriff to attack it.

The coalition has played a lead role in efforts to pass and implement SB 54, the California Values Act or “Sanctuary State” law.