Contra County Sheriff Ends Contract with ICE

CCC Sheriff ends ICE

Contra County Sheriff Declares End of Contract with ICE

On Tuesday, July 10, Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston announced that he’s ending the West County Detention Facility contract with ICE.

While some warn of unfavorable consequences, the decision by Sheriff Livingston is generally celebrated as an historic victory in Contra Costa County on behalf of human rights and protections.

At an afternoon news conference in Martinez, Sheriff Livingston stated:

“Today I am announcing we are ending the contract with ICE. I recently notified ICE of this decision and asked them to begin the process of removing their detainees in a safe and orderly manner.”

The perceived downside to the Contra Costa Detention Facility no longer contracting with ICE is that its current 169 ICE detainees, some of whom are local Contra Costa County residents with families in the area, will now be sent to facilities at other U.S. localities. Terminating the contract with ICE also means the County will lose $3 million in revenue.

However in the sanctuary State of California, the fact that county law enforcement will no longer be engaged in an agreement with ICE to house ICE detainees, is seen by many as a humanitarian victory.

One official who applauds termination of the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department’s contract with ICE is Contra Costa County Supervisor, John Gioia, who stated:

“This is an historic day in Contra Costa County. To the thousands of county residents who have passionately advocated for the end to the detention of immigrants at the West County Jail, thank you.”

West Contra Costa County Detention Center Protest ongoing outrage over the separation and incarceration of children taken from their parents at the US/Mexico border

The past several weeks have witnessed loud demonstrations in front of the West County Jail.

Richmond Vice-Mayor, who has been active in the protests, asserted:

“It’s a victory in the sense that these contracts are going to end. But a justifiable closure is making sure that the families, the folks that are being detained by ICE aren’t just going to be transferred somewhere else like Arizona or Colorado.”

The cancellation of the County Sheriff’s contract with ICE was issued in an atmosphere of increased pressure from community groups, residents and elected officials to end County law enforcement’s agreement with ICE.

A new law that became effective in January, the California Values Act, bars local law enforcement agencies from cooperating and communicating with ICE.

Find more on the Contra Costa Sheriff ending the detention contract with ICE at ABC 7 News: Contra Costa Co. Sheriff cancels jail contract with ICE and EAST BAY TIMES: Contra Costa sheriff to announce end of ICE contract, sources say, the source of this information.

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier Announces Halt to Concord Detention Center

No Concord Detention

On Thursday, June 28, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (11th Congressional District) announced that the much decried immigration detention center at the former Naval Weapons Station in Concord has been halted.

Initial unofficial news first surfaced the former Wednesday at a city council meeting.

“There will be no relocation camps in Concord or California,” said Guy Bjerke, Concord’s Director of Community Reuse Planning.

On the following Thursday Congressman DeSaulnier announced:

“Currently, Concord Naval Weapons Station land is owned by the Department of Defense. In order to house any facility to detain immigrants, the Department of Defense would have to provide approval. I have received verbal confirmation from the Department of Defense that it has not been asked to host a detention facility at Concord Naval Weapons Station, at this time. We must continue to remain vigilant as the Trump Administration’s policies create the need for more detention centers. We will also be pushing the Navy to fulfill its obligation to transfer the weapons station to Concord effectively eliminating it as a future option [for detention]. I am thankful to Concord and the community for their leadership and support in stopping this effort.”

Yet again progressive civic action by a composite concerned community, in concert with officials who listen and respond, has brought results in favor of human rights and protections.

To see the script of Congressman Desaulnier’s official announcement, click:  Congressman DeSaulnier Receives DoD Confirmation Concord Naval Weapons Station Not Currently Being Considered For Detention Facility

Find further information on this story at ABC 7 News, Congressman DeSaulnier: Plans for Concord immigration center officially halted

El Cerrito SHOWS UP!


El Cerrito SHOWS UP!

Every Thursday
6PM – 7PM
El Cerrito Plaza
Intersection of San Pablo Ave & Carlson Ave. 

As we witness the exponential rise of hatred and violence that has in the past few years come out of the shadows, we are determined to show up for our values and for one another.

We call on you to join in, as we become one voice in our local community.

We hold a weekly gathering at a prominent location in El Cerrito where we can remind people how quickly fascism takes hold when people look the other way or think ‘it can’t happen here. We gather every Wednesday at 6 pm.

Please join us at our ‘Show Up’ every Wednesday evening, at the west entrance to El Cerrito Plaza, intersection of San Pablo Ave & Carlson Ave. We meet on the side nearest to Daiso. If there are enough of us some can stand on other corners.

Our goals are to create a significant community presence to speak out in favor of equality, justice, inclusiveness and more. We say NO to hatred, racism, white supremacy and nationalism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism.

You can bring your own sign with your own words expressing what you stand for and against. Use BIG lettering so people in cars can see! We’ll also have sign-making materials. We will assemble lawfully and won’t block the sidewalk. All locations we select will be wheelchair-accessible. To participate you must commit to non-violent and respectful conduct.

All are welcome, family-friendly!

Sponsored By: El Cerrito Shows Up speaks out for equality and against hatred and bigotry.

U.S. House of Representatives Votes on DACA this Week

UPDATE 6/25/2018: The House rejected a vote on this bill on Thursday. No upcoming vote.

According to Countable, the online report on Congressional issues, this week of Monday, 6/25/2018, the House votes on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The section on DACA is accompanied by sections on “Border Enforcement” and “Visa Allocations and Priorities”. On the DACA section, Countable reports:


Legal Status for Certain Childhood Arrivals: This section would create a renewable, six year legal status for eligible unauthorized immigrants known as “contingent nonimmigrant status” which would allow them to apply for green cards (lawful permanent resident status) after five years. Unauthorized immigrants would be eligible for contingent nonimmigrant status if they:

  • Are physically present in the U.S. when they make their application and were physically present in the U.S. on June 15, 2007;
  • Were younger than 16 years of age when they first entered the country;
  • Were under 31 years of age on June 15, 2012 and had no lawful immigration status on that date;
  • Are of good moral character and have requested the release of any juvenile court records to DHS;
  • Have maintained continuous physical presence in the U.S. from June 15, 2012 until they’re granted contingent non-immigrant status;
  • Have obtained a high school diploma or an equivalent in the U.S. or are enrolled full-time at an educational institution.

Unauthorized immigrants would be ineligible for contingent non-immigrant status if they have:

  • A felony conviction or an aggravated felony;
  • A misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence, child abuse or neglect, assault resulting in bodily injury; or violating a protection order;
  • A conviction for sexual assault at any time;
  • One or more offenses classified as misdemeanors involving driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI);
  • Two or more misdemeanors for any offenses unrelated to driving under the influence or causing physical bodily harm;
  • Juvenile convictions for offenses related to murder, manslaughter, homicide, rape, statutory rape, any offense of a sexual nature involving a victim under the age of 18, a crime of violence, or drug dealing;
  • Failed to comply with a removal order or voluntary departure agreement or are deportable or inadmissible for specified reasons.

Contingent non-immigrants over the age of 18 would have to demonstrate an ability to support themselves with an annual income that’s at least 125 percent of the federal poverty level throughout the period they have contingent non-immigrant status. They’d be exempt from this requirement if they’re enrolled in school, are physically or mentally disabled, or are the caregiver of either a child under the age of 18 or an adult who is incapable of self-care because of a disability.

Contingent non-immigrants would have to request authorization by DHS to travel outside the country and be re-admitted, and couldn’t be outside the U.S. for more than 180 days during each 6 year period they’re in contingent non-immigrant status. There would be exceptions for extenuating circumstances and military service.

The application period would be open for one year after DHS publishes its interim final rule for contingent non-immigrant applications. The process would include completing a form that includes the provision of tax documents, documents demonstrating identity (like a passport, birth certificate), a certified school transcript (as needed to comply with education requirements), and an interview. A one-time border security fee of $1,000 would also be required as part of the application process.

Unauthorized immigrants apprehended before or during the application process would be given an opportunity would be given an opportunity to apply for contingent non-immigrant status if they appear eligible for such status. Their ability to apply would be rescinded if they become ineligible for one of the above reasons, or if DHS determines their removal to be in the interest of national security.”

See (join) Countable to see a full report on the proposed bill, including “Border Enforcement” and “Visa Allocations and Priorities.”

If you’re interested in the House vote on DACA, contact your senators and representative.

For more information on ongoing support for DACA, see the September, 2017 CBS News article, Fifteen states and D.C. file lawsuit over DACA.

Children Torn from Their Families at the Border –What We Can Do

Trump Immigration

The above image from the East Bay Times shows two young girls of hundreds, mostly Central American immigrant children, in a U.S. Customs holding cell where they are separated by age group and gender. Isolated from their parents, young detainees –even toddlers — languish in uncertain living conditions awaiting processing.

We are repeatedly struck by stinging accounts of children ripped from their families upon crossing the U.S. border, many of whom are seeking asylum from violence in their own countries. Treated as suspect and near-criminals, many of these families should instead be given refugee status.

We as U.S. citizens and residents many times feel powerless to help alleviate the situation of detention experienced by those who are fleeing for their lives. But their is something we can do, as brought to light in an East Bay Times editorial by Cathy Hanville, on behalf of the El Cerrito Progressives (ECP) Racial and Social Justice Committee.

Cathy reminds us of civic options any of us can take:

“One thing we can all do, she says, “is contact our senators and representatives to ask them to go to a detention center where children are being held and document the conditions.”

Cathy goes on to suggest how “we can also ask our members of Congress to refuse to vote on further budget requests or funding for ICE until this family-separation policy ceases.”

We have all witnessed the overall lack of conscience in respect to those who are in need. We see the ‘tent city’ homeless camps under freeway overpasses, we see people asking for help at locations throughout the Bay Area, from fast food locations to BART stations. Many more bikes are on the streets in lieu of unaffordable cars, taxis, even Uber options.

As we work to create a conscious movement towards relief for those in need, we must include actual refugees, as has always — even in hard times — been the “American Way”.

Immigrant children separated from parents

Here we have an El Cerrito resident and civic organization that have not only illuminated the problem, but also devised a viable solution. All we need to do is care.

Information presented in this communication originates from: EAST BAY TIMES – LETTERS TO THE. EDITOR: How we all help child refugees torn from their families at the border.

For more information on civic action in support of families who have been separated at the border, see: EAST BAY TIMES: Father’s Day protest outside Richmond ICE facility decries family-separation policy.



The Fixit Clinic

Fixit Logo

Our first El Cerrito FixIt Clinic took place on June 9. Hosted by El Cerrito Library, and co-sponsored by the ECP Environmental Quality Committee, the clinic embodied two of our important values:  Caring for People and the Planet.

Multi-talented people from the local community and as far away as Hayward, volunteered to help people troubleshoot and possibly repair items that they brought to the clinic.

The enthusiasm, persistence at problem-solving, learning together, and humor, was palpable all afternoon. Over 30 items were brought in, including toaster ovens, water boiling pots, hedge clippers, weed whacker, vintage record players, bike lights, music box, pencil sharpener, CD players, staplers, 3-hole punches, laundry drying rack, shredder, laptops, backpacks, a favorite old clock, an old-fashioned timer, chair and more.


Together with their FixIt Coaches, many “customers” were able to learn how to diagnose and repair their items.  Customers whose items could not be repaired were nevertheless very grateful for the opportunity to work with a coach to learn how to take apart their items and see how they worked.

We are especially grateful to the 13 volunteer coaches, our co-sponsors, and fellow El Cerrito Progressive members for their support. It was such a wonderful experience, we plan to organize another one in the fall!

Barbara Chan, Howdy Goudy, Robin Mitchell, Anne Ogonowski
ECP Environmental Justice Committee