Media Advisory
September 7th, 2017
Contact: Armando Carmona, 323-250-3018; Jon Rodney, CIPC, 510-207-9520

Romulo Avelica, Recently Released from Adelanto Detention Center, Leads Caravan To Sacramento to Fight for Sanctuary State Bill

Advocates and community members call on Gov. Brown & Senate Pro-tem Kevin de Leon to sign the strongest possible SB 54 amidst onslaught of anti-immigrant attacks by President Trump & the cancellation of DACA

Los Angeles/Sacramento, CA – Only days after his release from Adelanto Detention center, Romulo Avelica is leading a caravan of immigrants and workers to Sacramento in order to advocate for the California Values Act, known as the “Sanctuary State” legislation authored by Senate President Kevin de Leon.

Romulo Avelica, a Los Angeles father arrested by ICE as he was dropping his children off at school gained national attention after his daughter, Fatima, recorded the incident. He was released after being detained for 6 months and a large national community campaign garnered broad community support which included  elected officials such as Gov. Jerry Brown, Senator Kamala Harris and LA City Councilmember Gil Cedillo.

Mr. Avelica recently called for the bill’s passage in a CNN.Com op-ed, writing:

“To me, ‘California values’ mean keeping families together, working toward a better future for our children, and not subjecting people to double punishment for lack of a piece of paper.”

Now, he will seek to reach out to Governor Jerry Brown and Senate President Kevin de Leon to ask for their commitment in passing the strongest SB 54 that protects all immigrants.

What: With only a week remaining before the legislature adjourns, immigrant rights groups from across the state will converge in Sacramento on Thursday for a day of action to call upon the Assembly and Gov. Brown to pass SB 54 in its strongest possible form.  In the wake of the President’s outrageous decision to end the DACA program, immigrant communities around the country are fighting to protect both DACA beneficiaries and all 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of criminalization and deportation, raising the stakes for passing a strong SB 54.

The bill by Senate President Kevin de Leon, known as The California Values Act or “Sanctuary” bill, will help make sure that local police and sheriffs do not help the Trump administration deport millions of people. SB 54 will limit sharing personal information with Trump’s deportation force and will ensure that police and sheriffs do not detain anyone solely for deportation purposes without a warrant signed by a judge. The bill will also help make schools, hospitals, courthouses, and libraries safe spaces for everyone in the community.

When and where:

7:30 AM – 8:00 AM: Morning vigil outside of CA Governor’s mansion, 1526 H St
9:30 AM: Rally, North Steps, CA State Capitol
10:00 AM: March to the CA Sheriffs Association Headquarters, 1231 “Eye” St

Speakers to include:

Romulo Avelica, recently released from Adelanto Detention Center
Pablo Alvarado, NDLON
Xochitl Oseguera, Moms Rising
Angela Chan, Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus
Dr. Janina Morrison, LA Wellness Center
Rev. Deborah Lee, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

The day will kick off with an early vigil outside the Governor’s Mansion, followed by a rally on the North Steps of the Capitol, which will culminate in a march to the headquarters of the California Sheriff’s Association. The Sheriffs’ entanglement with a xenophobic policy agenda and attempts to bully the Governor into weakening SB 54, has sparked controversy across the state. The Association’s endorsement of Jeff Sessions, who announced the rescission of DACA this week, and collusion with Trump’s deportation force to undermine SB 54, in addition to one Sheriff’s department’s ‘accidental’ White Supremacist retweet, have also caused significant pain and frustration for immigrant communities.

As the Trump administration seeks to further tangle local police and sheriffs with its deportation machine, immigrant advocates point to significant racial and economic disparities in the criminal justice system and affirm that all people deserve due process, no matter what they look like or where they were born.


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