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5/25 in Redwood City, CA: Coalition of Groups to Urge Halt to Implementation of “Secure Communities”

May 23, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Press Contacts:
Julio Garcia                            Charisse Domingo, Silicon Valley De-Bug
(650)276-8852                      (650)814-4004

WHAT: Press Conference

WHEN: Tuesday, May 25, 2010, 9:45AM

WHERE:  San Mateo County Government Center, 400 County Center, Redwood City, CA 94063

BACKGROUND: On Tuesday, May 25, 2010, the Secure Communities Program (“SCOMM”), a federal immigration initiative, which will automatically send the fingerprints of arrested individuals taken by local law enforcement officials to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immigration database, is scheduled to be implemented in San Mateo County. A broad coalition of immigrant rights’ advocates, faith-based organizations,  members of the legal community, community organizations, youth organizations,and civil rights organizations have called on San Mateo County Board of Supervisors and the County Sheriff to opt out of this program, or in the alternative, postpone the implementation of SCOMM in our County until further research and significant community input is considered on the potential serious impacts of the program on our County.  Community members believe SCOMM — a voluntary program — will be destructive and harmful to thousands of families in our county, and to the well-being of our county as a whole. “This is such a hateful program.  While it claims to target the “most serious offenders”, many hardworking people will end up getting swept along with the current.  We must stop this here now before lives are destroyed,” says Julio Garcia, a community organizer from East Palo Alto.  (Attached is the letter sent by the coalition to the Board of Supervisors).

Speakers include Julio Garcia, community organizer, East Palo Alto; Sylvia Ramirez, community organizer, Comite de Padres Unidos, Redwood City; Doroteo Garcia, community leader, Nuestra Casa; Adrian Avila, community organizer, Silicon Valley De-Bug; Sheryl Muñoz-Bergman, Director, San Mateo County Programs, International Institute of the Bay Area; Reverend Anna B. Lange-Soto, El Buen Pastor, Iglesia Episcopal Church, and; Angie Junck, Staff Attorney, Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Organizations endorsing the halt to SCOMM’s implementation in San Mateo County include: ACLU of Northern California, ALIADI Alianza Latinoamericana por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes, Comite de Padres Unidos, Redwood City, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, East Palo Alto Council of Tenants, El Buen Pastor Episcopal Church, Redwood City, Episcopal Diocese of California, Migration and Immigration Task Force, Fair Rent Coalition, East Palo Alto, For Youth By Youth, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Institute of the Bay Area, Redwood City, Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County, Movimiento Por Una Anmistia Incondicional (MUAI), Peninsula Interfaith Action, Project WeHOPE, Saint Samuel Church of God in Christ, East Palo Alto, San Mateo County Private Defender Program, Silicon Valley De-Bug, Ujima Security Council, East Palo Alto, and Youth United for Community Action.

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