Tell Alameda County Sheriff Gregory J. Ahern: Don't Make Police Immigration Agents. No More ICE Holds
After pressure from many of you, and the work of the communities he is a part of, Pancho Ramos has been released on his own recognizance.
This is something unusual (most people are kept in ICE custody for months, or even years) and clearly shows the power that we have when we organize. But our work is not over.
Pancho was arrested while meditating during the eviction of Occupy Oakland on Monday, Nov. 17. He was then turned over to ICE for possible deportation. Due to the S-Comm (misnamed Secure Communities) program, Pancho was caught in this dragnet that unfairly sweeps up community members for detention and deportation.
Unfortunately, what's happening to Pancho happens every day in Oakland and across the country. The movement is pushing back and counties like Santa Clara, CA and Cook, IL are putting an end to all collaboration and cooperation with ICE by not acknowledging ICE holds. This is their way out of participation in S-Comm.
Now Alameda County needs to do the same. As the federal government has repeatedly and unequivocally stated, ICE holds are merely a request.
So that no one else ends up in Pancho's situation. So everyone can freely participate in the Occupy Movement. So that families can stay together: Sign the petition and tell the Alameda County Sheriff to reject ICE holds now.
As Pancho’s case shows, S-Comm’s focus is more spin than safety. Under S-Comm, immigration officials pressure local governments to hold community members like Pancho in jail for extra time so they can be picked up for deportation.
In Alameda County, 1,095 residents have been torn from their families and deported since S-Comm was imposed last spring. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requested that the Sheriff hold Pancho so that they can start deportation proceedings - and the Sherriff agreed.
Mass deportations serve no one but the 1% - the CEOs of private prison companies and the banks that invest in them profit heavily off of the immigration detention system. Threat of deportation silences communities. Another way is possible. Please sign this petition.