While yesterday millions of Americans were honoring the contributions of our nation’s working women and men, the Trump administration was rolling out the next step in its draconian anti-immigrant policy agenda. The decision this morning to rescind the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will plunge 800,000 young people across the nation, also known as “Dreamers,” into uncertainty — and with the very real threat of deportation. There are an estimated 6,000, DACA-eligible young people who consider Santa Barbara County their home. Many of them are high school and college students, educated working professionals, and emerging leaders in our community.
Since the first days of the Trump administration, immigrants throughout the nation, including the estimated 40,000 undocumented immigrants residing in Santa Barbara County, have lived in tremendous anxiety and fear over their safety, whether it be while at school, seeking basic medical attention and other public services, or in reporting crimes to law enforcement. And while much of the anticipated neighborhood raids have not yet occurred, we have seen a marked increase in deportations in 2017 over prior years, including individuals caught in minor driving infractions. That said, we can expect the administration’s 2018 budget to include significant funding for greater ICE enforcement and, therefore, the prospects of a massive increase in deportations of many of our hard-working neighbors.
As a progressive community, we ask you to join the Fund for Santa Barbara and local immigrant rights groups, like the Central Coast Immigrant Rights Coalition, CAUSE, Importa, and Future Leaders of America in standing up in defense of our immigrant community.
The Fund has a long-standing history of providing grant support for local organizations working in support of immigrant rights in our community, including groups providing much-needed citizenship services and other activities to increase civic participation in our immigrant communities. In the coming weeks the Fund also looks forward to announcing a new regional initiative in partnership with several local foundations and legal defense organizations in support of immigrant rights, defense, and integration. The success of this effort will require community-wide support!
Let’s stand together with our DACA dreamers and for the rights of all our immigrant and refugee friends and neighbors. #HereToStay #DefendDACA
Here are a few actions you can take right now:
Attend the SB 54 Town Hall in Santa Barbara
Learn, discuss, and get involved in supporting our immigrant community. It’s time to separate fact from fiction. Childcare provided.
Thursday, September 7, 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Society, 1535 Santa Barbara Street. Hosted by the Interfaith Sanctuary Alliance of Santa Barbara as part of the Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice.
Contact Governor Brown in Support of SB 54, the California Values Act
Also known as the state “Sanctuary Bill,” SB 54 will ensure that state and local resources are not used to fuel mass deportations, separate families, or spread fear throughout our communities. It would create safe spaces, including at schools, health facilities and court houses.
Call the Governor’s office directly: (916) 445-2841
Join the Bus to Sacramento in Support of SB 54
Click HERE to join a broad coalition of supporters for this legislation leaving from Oxnard this Thursday.
Contact Congressmember Salud Carbajal
Urge Congressmember Carbajal to protect DREAMers and all immigrants from Trump’s deportations — click HERE to contact Rep. Carbajal.
Stay Updated on Local Immigration Raids, Know Your Rights Information, and Local Actions Supporting Immigrant Communities
Stay tuned for additional information and make sure you are listening to reliable sources.
Text “ALERTA” to 24587 for text updates in Spanish.
Marcos Vargas is executive director of the Fund for Santa Barbara.