California State Assemblymember
Capitol Workplace, Room 4167
P.O. Field 942849
Re: AB 937 (Carrillo) — The VISION Act — CO-SPONSOR
Pricey Assemblymember Carrillo:
As a co-sponsor, Human Rights Watch writes in sturdy help of AB 937, the Voiding Inequality and In search of Inclusion for Our Immigrant Neighbors (VISION) Act, which might prohibit individuals who have already been discovered eligible for launch from native jails and state prisons from being transferred to immigration detention. The VISION Act would shut the principle pipeline by which California sends immigrants right into a harmful and abusive detention system. It might additionally present immigrants who could also be topic to deportation a stronger alternative to claim their rights to a good listening to and defend in opposition to deportation and household separation.
Human Rights Watch is non-profit, unbiased group that investigates allegations of human rights violations in additional than 100 nations world wide. For many years, we’ve got documented the numerous methods during which america violates the essential rights of non-citizens in its nation.
California is residence to an estimated 11 million immigrants—a few quarter of the immigrant inhabitants nationwide. Nearly one in three Californians is an immigrant; and one in two kids in California has no less than one immigrant guardian. Neighborhood members California transfers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody are refugees, lawful everlasting residents, individuals who entered america as kids, dad and mom, caretakers, important employees, or are in any other case valued California residents. In a 2017 report, Human Rights Watch estimated, primarily based on ICE detention knowledge, that greater than 10,000 dad and mom of US residents are locked up in immigration detention in California annually. By passing the VISION Act, California can be serving to to restrict the devastating influence of the detention and deportation system on its immigrants, their households, and their communities.
Specifically, the VISION Act would:
- construct on latest prison authorized system reforms by prohibiting native and state businesses from conducting immigration arrests and from helping or facilitating immigration arrests, which incorporates prohibiting ICE transfers;
- prohibit California Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) parole brokers and county probation officers from collaborating with ICE to funnel people who’re on parole into immigration detention; and
- make sure that refugees and immigrants are handled equally by prohibiting state businesses, native businesses, and courts from utilizing immigration standing as an element to disclaim or to advocate denial of placement in a diversion program, rehabilitation program, credit-earning program or class, or psychological well being program.
These are urgently wanted reforms.
Human Rights Watch has documented extreme injustices within the US prison authorized system. Tons of of hundreds of individuals are held in custody pre-trial merely as a result of they can not afford bail, forcing many who might need in any other case contested their costs to plead responsible. Many face overly harsh sentences that don’t precisely mirror the severity of their conduct, and legal guidelines and insurance policies are routinely utilized in an arbitrary and discriminatory method, disproportionately impacting poor and minority communities.
The US immigration system provides to the injustices of the prison authorized system by imposing the extra penalty of detention and deportation for a large swath of offenses, together with offenses that shouldn’t be criminalized, comparable to easy possession of medication. Immigrants are sometimes not totally knowledgeable as to the potential immigration penalties of their responsible pleas. Even when prison authorized system reforms are enacted in efforts to deal with these extreme injustices, US immigration regulation has remained rigid. For instance, Human Rights Watch has strongly supported adjustments to California’s youth offender parole course of, which permits individuals imprisoned as younger offenders to earn parole by offering sturdy proof of rehabilitation. Nonetheless, immigrants who earn parole via this course of have been instantly transferred to ICE detention and put into deportation proceedings, for granted of their rehabilitation, steady reentry plans, or neighborhood help. The US deportation system suffers from a well-documented lack of due course of, in addition to a failure to offer individualized hearings for all immigrants topic to deportation that take into full consideration size of residence, household and neighborhood ties, army service, and different essential equities.
Though the VISION Act wouldn’t change the cruel federal legal guidelines that enable many prison convictions to set off computerized detention and deportation, by stopping transfers to ICE detention, California would offer immigrants who’ve served their sentences and been deemed eligible for launch a greater alternative to battle everlasting household separation and exile. Detention is in some ways the essential consider an immigrant’s capability to battle deportation in immigration courtroom – detained immigrants are the least more likely to have authorized illustration, and authorized illustration is strongly linked to profitable reduction from deportation in immigration proceedings.
By ending the switch of immigrants to ICE detention, California would additionally considerably cut back the quantity of people that enter a harmful and abusive system. Human Rights Watch has issued a number of studies primarily based on unbiased medical specialists’ analyses of deaths in immigration detention, which discovered a major proportion occurred after individuals acquired severely subpar medical care, an issue that has solely been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Immigrants in detention are additionally topic to sexual abuse, unsanitary situations, improper use of isolation, and quite a few on a regular basis indignities, situations which can be incompatible with the idea of fundamental human dignity.
Human Rights Watch strongly helps the VISION Act as a result of by ending transfers to ICE, California could make its prison authorized system reforms significant for all its residents, and might make sure that individuals launched from prisons and jails are in a position to return to their houses and communities and battle any deportation case that may be filed in opposition to them in security and with the help of their households. By passing the VISION Act, California can take an important step ahead in fulfilling its dedication to justice for all its residents.
For these causes, Human Rights Watch is proud to co-sponsor the VISION Act, AB 937, and urge your help. If in case you have any questions, please be happy to contact me at email@example.com or at (646) 363-6495.
Grace Sung Ehn Meng
Affiliate Director, US Program
Human Rights Watch
 Human Rights Watch, “I Nonetheless Want You”: The Detention and Deportation of California Mother and father, Could 2017, https://www.hrw.org/websites/default/recordsdata/report_pdf/uscaliforniaimmigration0517_web_0.pdf, p.2.
 Human Rights Watch, “Not in it for Justice”: How California’s Pretrial Detention and Bail System Unfairly Punishes Poor Individuals, April 2017, https://www.hrw.org/websites/default/recordsdata/report_pdf/usbail0417_web_0.pdf, p. 42.
 Human Rights Watch, Submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Common Periodic Assessment of america of America, October 3, 2019, https://www.hrw.org/information/2019/10/03/human-rights-watch-submission-united-nations-human-rights-councils-universal.
 “California: New Hope for Younger Offenders,” Human Rights Watch information launch, October 5, 2015, https://www.hrw.org/information/2015/10/05/california-new-hope-young-offenders.
 Ingrid Eagly and Steven Shafer, American Immigration Council, Entry to Counsel in Immigration Court docket, September 2016, https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/analysis/access-counsel-immigration-court, p. 2.
 Human Rights Watch Amicus Letter in Help of a Petition for Writ of Mandate, “California Ought to Halt Transfers to ICE Custody Through the Covid-19 Pandemic,” Could 1, 2020, https://www.hrw.org/information/2020/05/01/human-rights-watch-amicus-letter-support-petition-writ-mandate; citing Human Rights Watch, Code Crimson: The Deadly Penalties of Dangerously Substandard Medical Care in Immigration Detention, June 2018, https://www.hrw.org/report/2018/06/20/code-red/fatal-consequences-dangerously-substandard-medical-care-immigration; Human Rights Watch, Systemic Indifference: Harmful & Substandard Medical Care in US Immigration Detention, Could 2017, https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/05/08/systemic-indifference/dangerous-substandard-medical-care-us-immigration-detention.
 Human Rights Watch, “Do You See How A lot I’m Struggling Right here?”: Abuse in opposition to Transgender Ladies in US Immigration Detention (New York: Human Rights Watch, 2016), https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/03/24/do-you-see-how-much-im-suffering-here/abuse-against-transgender-women-us.
 American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, and the Nationwide Immigrant Justice Middle, Justice-Free Zones: U.S. Immigration Detention Below the Trump Administration, April 2017, https://www.hrw.org/websites/default/recordsdata/supporting_resources/justice_free_zones_immigrant_detention.pdf, p. 4.
 “Lawyer Normal Becerra Releases Second Report on Immigration Detention Services in California,” Workplace of the Lawyer Normal press launch, January 19, 2021, https://oag.ca.gov/information/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-releases-second-report-immigration-detention-facilities (accessed March 25, 2021).