Sonoma County groups seek supervisors’ support of federal immigration reform
Sonoma County immigrants and local groups that work with them are asking the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to support a number of initiatives, including a federal budget proposal that would create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
They will make their request during a virtual town hall meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
A number of local groups such as the Graton Labor Center, along with its domestic worker advocacy arm called ALMAS, and the Immigrant and Indigenous Women of Sonoma County are hosting the town hall, according to ALMAS Program Director Renee Salcedo.
County Board of Supervisors Chair Lynda Hopkins, as well as Supervisors Susan Gorin and David Rabbitt are expected to attend, Salcedo said Tuesday.
“We need our Board of Supervisors to step up in this process of gaining national immigration reform,” she added. “Many times, local jurisdictions claim that they have no power to insert themselves in federal issues like immigrant rights, but we believe the county has a lot of political sway to advocate … for a just path to citizenship for our community.”
The meeting comes on the heels of the measure’s approval in both houses of Congress last month.
The plan, which involves a $3.5 trillion budget resolution, sets aside $107 billion to create a legal path to citizenship for qualified immigrants. It also pledges to invest in border security and violence intervention programs.
Lawmakers have until Sept. 15 to suss out the details of the budget resolution.
“We don’t know who is going to qualify, what the requirements are, or what the process will be,” Salcedo said of the proposal so far. “But what we do know is with this budget reconciliation, Congress is committed to creating a path to citizenship for this county’s undocumented community.”
The groups organizing Wednesday’s town hall will also ask the county’s leaders to support several statewide and local initiatives related to this region’s undocumented community.
They include advocating for the passage of Senate Bill 321, which would require Cal/OSHA, the state’s workplace safety division, to fold in domestic service workers and their employers under their purview, as well as the California VISION Act, which would bar county jails and state prisons from transferring inmates into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.
Supervisors will also be asked to support ongoing efforts aimed at improving farmworker safety during wildfires.
The nonprofit advocacy group North Bay Jobs with Justice has compiled a list of protections it believes farmworkers want and need in light of the devastation wildfires have wrought in recent years. Among the local initiatives the group is asking supervisors to support is an ongoing set of five demands created by the nonprofit North Bay Jobs with Justice that boost farmworker safety and protections during wildfires.
Among those requests are hazard pay, disaster insurance for workers who lose out on wages as a result of nearby wildfires, and translated safety and evacuation information in indigenous languages to better accommodate field workers who primarily speak those languages.
You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @nashellytweets.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, The Press Democrat
Who calls the North Bay home and how do their backgrounds, socioeconomic status and other factors shape their experiences? What cultures, traditions and religions are celebrated where we live? These are the questions that drive me as I cover diversity, equity and inclusion in Sonoma County and beyond.