It’s a pretty clear choice: California can set a bold example of how to stand up for immigrants and Muslims and against Trump—or we can collectively decide to give up and back down.
All across the U.S., states are deciding whether they want to be complicit with or defiant towards the Trump administration's attacks on our communities.
In California, a sanctuary state bill called the California Values Act (CVA or SB54), which would openly resist Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda, is making its way through the state legislature, along with another bill, the Religious Freedom Act (SB31)—which would prohibit California authorities from participating any federal registry that targets Muslims or other groups.1
But if we don’t act now, these bills might not get through the California State Assembly.
These two bills have a very real chance of passing into law—they've already passed the California State Senate—but if our California State Assembly members swat them down, they’ll be dead in the water.
This is a crisis moment for our state and our nation—you don’t need me to tell you that. This is the kind of time where we make it clear what kind of people we are as Californians: welcoming to all and willing to stand up to bigots—or ready to fold under pressure and rat out our neighbors.
We know that immigrants and Muslims are an integral part of our communities—and we also know that it takes collective effort to stand up to bullies and hatemongers. If there was ever a time to assert that in public and loudly—it’s right now.
That’s why the CVA is the strongest sanctuary state bill of its kind of the nation—here’s just some of what it does to stand up against Trump:
- It places severe limits on how much local and state law enforcement can collaborate with Trump’s deportation policies.
- It makes it easier for undocumented immigrants to interact with our state government and receive basic services without fear of being outed to the federal government.
- It makes sure our public schools, hospitals, courthouses, and libraries are safe and available for every single Californian, immigrant or otherwise.
And the Religious Freedom Act is simple: it could cripple the Trump administration's efforts to start a Muslim registry by prohibiting state and local agencies from collecting information about a person's religious affiliation, national origin, or ethnicity or providing it to federal authorities for the purposes of compiling a database of individuals.
Allies like CAIR-California and the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) have already done fantastic work getting us this close to passing these bills—now it’s time to add our voices as MPower Change members.
1. "California Considers ‘Religious Freedom Act’ in Response to Muslim Registry Proposal" Fox 40, Jan 31, 2017
Photo credit: CHIRLA via Twitter