Advancing Justice – California Denounces Governor Newsom’s Decision to Veto AB 1282 “No Private ICE Act”

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October 14, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2019

Media Contact
Angela Chan, Policy Director & Senior Staff Attorney
angelac@advancingjustice-alc.org
Work: (415) 858-7719 / Cell: (503) 358-2795

Advancing Justice – California Denounces Governor Newsom’s Decision to Veto AB 1282 “No Private ICE Act”

SACRAMENTO – Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California (Advancing Justice – California), a joint project of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA), denounces Governor Newsom’s decision to veto AB 1282, “No Private ICE Act,” which would have prohibited the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the state prison system, from facilitating or allowing private security corporations to conduct unlawful immigration arrests of individuals in CDCR custody.

“AB 1282 was an opportunity to put to end private prison corporations in California profiting off of conducting immigration arrests that are not authorized by federal law. CDCR should not be using its resources to assist private prison corporations in funneling community members into immigration detention,” said Angela Chan, Policy Manager at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. “We urge Governor Newsom to recognize that immigrants should not be subject to a second punishment of deportation and permanent separation from their families and communities. That’s why we prioritized passage of AB 1282. And that’s why we launched a petition asking Governor Newsom to tell CDCR to not turn over Tith Ton, a Cambodian refugee and upstanding community member detained in San Quentin, to ICE upon his imminent release.”

Global private prison corporation G4S conducts about one-third of the immigration arrests of individuals released from CDCR custody, despite lacking the legal authority under federal law to do so. G4S has a deplorable record of subjecting individuals in their custody to inhumane and life-threatening conditions.

“CDCR’s past collaboration with G4S resulted in my transfer into immigration detention. This practice has led to the deportation of thousands of other community members who earned their release from state prison,” said Ny Nourn, Immigrant Rights Community Advocate at Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. “Governor Newsom’s decision to not sign AB 1282 into law will continue to separate families and implicate our state in facilitating unlawful arrests by private contractors for deportation purposes.”

“AB 1282 would have been a major step toward California fulfilling its pledge as a sanctuary state,” added Liza Chu, California Policy Manager, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Califonia. “More work remains to be done. We will continue to urge Governor Newsom to sign future legislation to demonstrate his strong dedication to all Californians that call this state home.”

In his veto message, Governor Newsom expressed concern that a provision in AB 1282 which prohibits CDCR from transferring individuals in their custody between state prison facilities within 90 days of release could hinder or delay transfers between facilities for a variety of situations, including medical care and court obligations. However, this provision in AB 1282 merely codifies existing CDCR Regulation 3379, including its exceptions for such scenarios. Currently, CDCR violates its own regulations by transferring individuals to state prisons closer to ICE field offices or detention facilities prior to release, allowing easier access for private security corporations to conduct immigration arrests on ICE’s behalf.

Final language for AB 1282 is available here. AB 1282 was co-sponsored by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California, Asian Prisoner Support Committee, Freedom for Immigrants, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, and Youth Justice Coalition.

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Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus was founded in 1972 as the nation’s first legal and civil rights Asian American organization. Recognizing that social, economic, political and racial inequalities continue to exist in the United States, Advancing Justice – ALC is committed to the pursuit of equality and justice for all sectors of our society, with a specific focus directed toward addressing the needs of low-income, immigrant and underserved Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles  is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice-LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.
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