Update from Kate - My Recent Statement about SB 54 and Marin Supervisors' Support Letter

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My Recent Statement about SB 54 and Marin Supervisors' Support Letter
for the California Values Act

On Tuesday, May 9, the Board of Supervisors voted to send a letter to Sacramento in support of Senator Kevin De Leon’s bill, SB 54, the “California Values Act”. I want to share what I said at the Board prior to our vote and then explain a little about the bill.

I appreciate Sheriff Doyle and everyone in his department for their commitment to treating everyone fairly and for keeping all of us safe. I also appreciate the Sheriff’s concerns that ICE not come into our communities and pick up people on our streets. None of us want that to happen.

Trust is essential to our being able to provide healthcare and other safety-net services, and for individuals to seek help for domestic violence and abuse and other threats to their safety. Without trust one cannot live with confidence and joy in our community.

I was particularly struck by the statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, California, in support of SB 54: “Parents should be able to attend school events and parent-teacher conferences, seek medical care, and request police assistance for themselves and their children without concern that their families will be torn apart as a result.”

That’s really the heart of it for me.

We do want to protect our friends, co-workers and neighbors. We are indeed all immigrants. When my family members several generations back came over from Ireland and Slovakia there was abuse and prejudice shown to those populations. That was not acceptable then, and it’s not acceptable now towards other populations.

I also agree with several of today’s speakers that we cannot give in to threats that run counter to our values. Thanks to all of you who came here today to speak in support of SB 54 and raise your voices against abuse and intolerance.

I fully support the proposed letter from our Board expressing support for SB 54.

SB 54 reaffirms California’s commitment to value and protect all of its residents, ensuring that state and local resources are not diverted by the federal government to support deportation enforcement, which separates families and ultimately affects the California economy. It is written to safeguard health care facilities, schools, churches, libraries, and courthouses so that everyone has equal access to basic government services.

SB 54 does not shelter felons and does not impede state and local law enforcement from participating in joint task force exercises with the federal government. While the Trump administration has threatened to cut federal funding to jurisdictions that refuse to comply with ICE deportation detainers and enforcement actions, that threat has been challenged in court as unconstitutional. Marin County was one of 34 jurisdictions that signed an amicus brief in support of that legal challenge. Two weeks ago, a federal district court judge in San Francisco issued a nationwide injunction blocking the Trump administration from acting on its threat.

A letter of support puts the County on record advocating for passage of specific legislation. The Marin County Board of Supervisors’ Legislative Plan includes language “opposing any immigration reform efforts that would eliminate a pathway to full and equal citizenship, would restrict the rights of immigrants or break up families, or that would focus on a mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.”  As County government, we strive to balance the need to ensure the rights and freedoms of all of our residents, including unfettered access to public services for which they are eligible, with the important public safety concerns of law enforcement. The Board’s Legislative Subcommittee, on which I serve, felt consideration of SB 54 was in the County’s and the public’s interests.