On April 11, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted to pass an ordinance that will stop cooperation with ICE in our county. I work with Pacifica Social Justice and we are part of the coalition, San Mateo County Coalition for Immigrant Rights, which was instrumental in bringing about this important ordinance.
Supervisors have legally ended the county’s collaboration with ICE and showed support for the immigrant community. The county joins several municipalities across the state and country that are committed to being a welcoming place for all — one where immigrant families can stay together and residents can access services without fear of discrimination or deportation.
Only a few years ago San Mateo County was the worst culprit in the Bay Area in double punishing our immigrant community. Many California counties had already stopped all ICE transfers including: Los Angeles, San Joaquin, Santa Cruz, Humboldt, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Contra Costa. Oregon, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., have also enacted laws that stop all ICE transfers from jails and prisons.
The ordinance codifies the Sheriff’s policy from 2021 to end all transfers to ICE. Forty people on Zoom and 16 people in person spoke in favor of the ordinance. Many shared their own stories of the impact of deportation on their lives. No one spoke against it. The ordinance passed 4 to 1. Supervisor Noelia Corzo talked about her own experiences with ICE and of her support for the ordinance. Supervisor Dave Canepa who introduced the ordinance with Supervisor Dave Pine thanked everyone who worked to get this written and passed, mentioning organizations and people by name. Supervisor Warren Slocum seemed on the fence, but in the end he voted in favor of the ordinance. Supervisor Ray Mueller from our very own Coastside community was the only no vote.
Basically, the ordinance prevents any county agencies from using county funds to assist ICE in any way that involves immigration law, including transfers, arrests, communication and access to non-public property.
Thanks to the coalition and all who supported this important work.
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