The Criminal Justice Reform Program seeks to transform the criminal justice system advocating for policies that disentangle local law enforcement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), pushing for police reforms and challenging police misconduct, and promoting restorative justice as an alternative to punitive approaches to criminal justice. Our work includes community education, legal representation, and policy advocacy on behalf of low-income immigrants and communities of color. For Community Education Resources click here.
Cases And Campaigns
Disentangling Local Law Enforcement from Immigration Deportation System
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus represented Martin Del Agua in filing suit against Sacramento County for violating the California TRUST Act, a law passed in 2013 establishing clear boundaries between California law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. Surveillance video from February 2014 showed that sheriff’s deputies unlawfully arrested Mr. Del Agua at his home. He was then held in jail for three days on an immigration hold request in violation of the TRUST Act. Sacramento County agreed to pay Mr. Del Agua $25,000 and to implement policy changes to settle his case. Read more here.
Promoting Language Access and Challenging Wrongful Arrest
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus is representing a domestic violence survivor who was wrongfully arrested by the San Francisco Police Department after officers failed to provide her with language access and failed to properly investigate that she was the victim of domestic violence. Her arrest caused her separation from her children. In collaboration with a network of domestic violence survivor organizations, Advancing Justice-ALC is working to improve language access by the San Francisco Police Department. Read more here.
Challenging San Francisco Police-ICE Collaboration
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus is representing Pedro Figueroa Zarceno, who was wrongfully arrested by the San Francisco Police Department after going to the police station to recover his stolen car. In violation of city policy, SFPD notified ICE about Mr. Figueroa Zarceno and detained Mr. Figueroa Zarceno, before releasing him to ICE agents. Mr. Figueroa Zarceno was separated from his family for two months while he was kept in immigration detention as a result of SFPD’s actions.
ICE Out of CA
Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus analyzes trends in collaboration between local law enforcement and ICE, so community organizers and advocates can strategically push ICE out of California.
While President Obama’s newly released immigration enforcement guidelines disbanded the deeply controversial Secure Communities Program (“S-Comm”), it’s successor, the Priority Enforcement Program (“PEP-Comm”) is largely expected to uphold the same problematic practices that tear families and communities apart.
Because of this, communities across California are collectively organizing to stop PEP-Comm and other connections between local law enforcement agencies and ICE. As we continue to separate local law enforcement from ICE, we can further strengthen our communities and restore trust between the community and local law enforcement.
See the ICE Out of CA website for more information: http://www.iceoutofca.org/
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus is co-sponsoring a California state bill known as the Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds Act, or the TRUTH Act (AB 2792-Bonta). The TRUTH Act creates a transparent process, including community engagement, before local law enforcement can participate in controversial ICE deportation programs. Local law enforcement must then reach an agreement with their city council or county supervisors that sets the terms and conditions of any participation in such programs and ensures compliance with California’s TRUST Act. Read more here.
Bringing Transparency to Immigration Deportation System: FOIA on Priority Enforcement Program (PEP)
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, along with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the Immigration Justice Clinic at the Cardozo School of Law, filed a lawsuit against several federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, under the Freedom of Information Act to uncover the truth about this new federal deportation program, the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). For more information please click here.
San Francisco Immigrant Rights
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus is a member of the Free SF, a coalition comprised of immigrant rights and criminal justice reform organizations. Free SF advocates for community safety, transformative justice, immigrant rights, and self-determination. Click here for more information about Free SF.
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus promotes Restorative Justice programs that are focused on repairing harm caused to victims and impacted communities as an alternative to punitive approach towards crime and juvenile delinquency.
Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus advocates with police departments for improved language access, transparency, Crisis Intervention Teams, and juvenile justice policies.
Sample model Sanctuary Ordinance policy for cities and counties.
California Values Act
California Values Act (SB 54 – Deleon). This is a pending state bill (2017 legislative cycle) that limits use of state and local resources and personnel for immigration enforcement.