On Tuesday, May 21, 2019, the Oakland City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance prohibiting an award of city contracts to vendors that provide specific deportation services to federal immigration agencies like ICE. The ordinance was supported by a large state-wide coalition of immigrants’ rights and civil liberties organizations and sponsored by Council President Rebecca Kaplan.
President Kaplan and members of the #DeportICE coalition released the following statements:
“In a time where our president has declared war on our immigrant communities and diminished our nation with hateful speech, the City of Oakland is proud to support our most vulnerable communities, not just with words but with actions. This Ordinance sends a resounding message that we will not engage vendors who are complicit in a xenophobic agenda,” said Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan.
“We applaud the Oakland City Council for taking measures to protect targeted communities, and we want to recognize the leadership of the project sponsor, Council President Kaplan,” said Brian Hofer, Founder and Executive Director of Secure Justice. “This ordinance will help Oakland better align its values with its purchasing power, ensuring that we are not subsidizing Trump’s hateful immigration policies, and make our Sanctuary City status more meaningful.”
“Now more than ever, it’s imperative to pass local laws that protect our neighbors most at risk of being unfairly targeted. Secure Justice commends the Oakland City Council’s decision to stand with our city’s immigrants and looks forward to cities across the country following suit.”
“Today’s decision marks an important victory,” said Sameena Usman, Government Relations Coordinator for the San Francisco office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “By prohibiting the award of city contracts to vendors supplying ICE, CBP, or HHS/ORR with data broker, extreme vetting, or detention facility support, the Oakland City Council has demonstrated its commitment to protecting our communities under an administration that has been set on tracking and targeting them.
“From suggesting a surveillance of mosques and the creation of a national database of American Muslims during his campaign, to proposing the use of “extreme vetting” analytics tools against immigrants during his presidency, it’s clear that Trump’s xenophobia knows no limits.
Malena Mayorga, the Director of Immigrant Defense at Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), said, “as an organization of Latina immigrant women directly experiencing the devastation and criminalization of our communities and families, we believe it is critical that our local governments cut all ties with any corporation aiding ICE in the imprisonment and dehumanization of immigrants. This ordinance is a step in the right direction. We must take it a step further and divest from corporations such as Wells Fargo and Chase who are profiting from pain by financing private immigrant jails.”
“The Japanese American community knows first-hand the terror of race-based surveillance, starting with the monitoring of our community spaces and leading to the indefinite detention of our families during WWII,” shared Miya Sommers of Nikkei Resisters. “We are hopeful that the passage of this ordinance in Oakland will continue to apply economic pressure to deter cooperation with ICE and make Oakland a true sanctuary city.”