Although Emergency Legislation Passed Unanimously, the Fight is Not Over Until All Immigrants are Protected From Deportation.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Jose Alonso Muñoz | firstname.lastname@example.org | 202.810.0746
Washington, D.C. – Today the DC Council unanimously passed the Sanctuary Values Act of 2019. The emergency legislation comes after months of community organizing and meetings with Councilmembers, the DC Attorney General, as well as the Director of the DC Department of Corrections.
Though this is an important first step, we are disappointed about the last-minute exclusion of federal inmates held at the DC Jail and we plan to continue the fight to protect all D.C. residents from ICE in the forthcoming permanent version of the bill.
During last minute negotiations, it became clear that the Mayor’s Office tried to manipulate the fiscal impact process to block the bill, resulting in a carveout that still allows ICE to access the DC Jail specifically for federal inmates. Washington, DC fails to be a true sanctuary city, as Mayor Bowser has claimed it to be; it continues to feed immigrants into the deportation pipeline.
Claudia Quiñonez, organizer with United We Dream, said:
“Today’s vote on the Sanctuary Values Act of 2019 is an important first step and we will continue to organize until not one single person is handed over to the deportation force. The city continues to have a contract with the federal government to turn in immigrants from their jails over to ICE.
We applaud the work of the immigrants, youth of color, and allies who pushed the City Council to act to defend immigrants from the ever-expanding deportation force. Home is here and the immigrant residents of Washington, D.C. deserve to live without fear of being separated from their loved ones.”
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.