I have just returned from a massive immigrant rights rally where I saw a number of you, our members, standing with immigrants and Muslims as we are called by our faith to do. This is the first step - bearing public witness however and wherever we can.
The next step is transforming our principles into law. If we do not secure democracy legally, we will eternally rally but no one will be truly safe because of it. These to things - activism and advocacy - go hand in hand.
This morning we rallied. This afternoon we begin changing our laws to assure the cries of "No Justice? No Peace! Know Justice, Know Peace!" are not just hollow slogans.
Please take a few minutes to support two bills that protect and defend our Muslim brothers and sisters and our immigrant families whoever they are.
SB 31 protects Muslims in California by forbidding any public agency from handing over information on a person's religion. Period. Full stop. This state will not be complicit with the ill-considered creation of religious profiling at airports or other points of entry nor with a religious registry that targets Muslims as potential terrorists. No hospital, college or university, no law enforcement agency, no social service office - no public employee of any kind may become an informer.
SB 6 will assure that people facing deportation have adequate legal representation. The brave attorneys who still sit day after day in the waiting lounge of international arrivals need this support as much as the people who need the attorneys. The lawyers must also be in place at detention centers to make sure those arrested are actually the right targets and that due process is maintained. We need a regular system of lawful representation for those unjustly targeted for who they are.
SB 54 prohibits our state and local police from abetting what too often has become hasty and erroneous seizure for deportation. Our law enforcement authorities already have the right to participate in deportation of convicted felons. When local law enforcement also becomes complicit in general round ups of people such as the awful story of a father ambushed by ICE, in the company of the local police, and seized while dropping his children at school. When this happens, the police drive a wedge into the trust of the community. Law enforcement officers around the state tells us this is extremely harmful to obtaining witnesses for crimes and especially for victims to come forward. This law prohibits the cooperation except under carefully planned multi-jurisdictional enforcement operations that must be pre-approved based on lawful criteria.
Please let your State Senators know that you support these three bills. They provide stable legal foundations as well as human rights and justice as part of how we exist as a state and society. All three are headed for the Senate floor. Please act NOW. While there is strong support, these three bills are "urgency" bills meaning they are meant to take effect immediately. This requires a 2/3 vote so every vote is precious. Allay doubts and worries among our elected officials; assure them these bills have our support from all of our members within our faith communities! Our faith voice is particularly powerful in these kinds of matters.
Please go to: http://www.churchimpact.org/take-action.html
Please tell your Senator that you stand with legal justice and lawful due process for all people and that these bills are essential to make sure our system of law gives the same rights to all people that we ourselves enjoy in California.
This is important witness for those who, caught in the hysteria too often present in our political lives, cannot always speak for themselves. Add your voice today!