San Francisco, CA—On October 20th, ASPIRE joined over 70 other immigrant rights advocates and community organizations to demand an end to the scapegoating of undocumented immigrants and to restore community trust. After a three-month advocacy effort that included story-sharing and mass mobilization, immigrant communities gained huge successes during this week’s Board of Supervisors hearing that upheld San Francisco as a sanctuary city for all immigrants.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted for a resolution that protects the immigrant community from the harmful effects of local law enforcement’s entanglement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ASPIRE applauds the Supervisors on the Board who champion the rights of immigrants, even in the face of reactionary backlash that further casts undocumented people into the shadows.
“We especially thank Supervisor Malia Cohen for her courageous and vocal support of our local immigrant communities,” says Hong Mei Pang, a Community Organizer at ASPIRE. “Our communities are all too often scapegoated and Supervisor Cohen’s powerful statement dismantled these dangerous stereotypes. We refuse to be criminalized.”
By debunking the false rhetoric of “felons not families”, ASPIRE hopes to continue advocating for all immigrant families to stay together. Through developing restorative justice and addressing the root causes of violence in the community, this victory is a first step towards ending the criminalization of people of color in San Francisco.
Maria HW, a Core Leader at ASPIRE who has led the efforts to empower the immigrant community, reflects, “Our community has bravely mobilized and organized to defend our sanctuary city. The victory we achieved this week is a historic milestone towards disentangling law enforcement from ICE. We rejected PEP. We protected our city. We will continue to fight.”