ACLU: Fresno TRUTH Forum Fails to Honor California Values

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FRESNO — On August 7, at the second TRUTH forum held in the state of California, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors violated the principles of the TRUTH Act. Maria Romani, ACLU Foundations of California Immigrants’ Rights Policy Attorney, issued the following comment in response:

Community members have a right to know how their local law enforcement agencies are entangled in ICE’s deportation machine. The Board of Supervisors failed to give adequate notice, space, or time to truly give Fresno residents a chance to hold Sheriff Mims accountable. The Fresno community deserves a seat at the table, and the way this forum was held fails to honor California values and the spirit of the TRUTH Act.

The Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds Act, known as the TRUTH Act, requires local legislative bodies and law enforcement to hold annual forums to give the public the ability to ask questions about how their local law enforcement is working with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in their communities.

The TRUTH Act is intended to hold local law enforcement agencies accountable to the standards that the California Values Act sets, which limit local and state law enforcement from entangling with ICE and lay the groundwork for greater protections at the local level including; limiting the amount of personal information that local officials share with ICE; limiting local law enforcement from notifying ICE when a community member is about to be released from custody; and limiting immigration enforcement at schools, hospitals, courthouses, and libraries.

Sheriff Mims needs to be held accountable for her aggressive, anti-immigrant agenda that damages community trust in law enforcement. Her actions are out of step with our values of compassion, humanity, and community. 

Luis Ojeda, Central Valley Mobilization & Civic Engagement Associate, ACLU Foundation of Northern California

The forum was organized by the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA), and Services Immigrant Rights & Education Network (SIREN).

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