Dear Fellow Activists,
A French professor. The son of Muhammed Ali. Each detained for hours at the border. A woman with a brain tumor pulled out of her intensive care hospital bed and taken into detention. Parents separated from minor children. A legal resident with a green card having his wife and infant child (with valid visas) not allowed to return to their home at the end of a trip abroad to see their elderly parents. Locally, longtime undocumented immigrants now daily living and working in fear.
This email focuses on Trump’s sweeping changes to enforcement of immigration policies and regulations. We ask you contact your local Sheriff to ask that he focus on his duty to protect and serve the local community, not to become an arm for inhumane federal law enforcement actions that make us all LESS SAFE.
Thank you to Darrelyn Brennan Khleifat, the Indivisible Guide, Wall-of-Us, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and the Office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, all of whom were sources for this content.
There are over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. Undocumented immigration hit its peak in the 1990s; many of the 11 million have now been here for decades and now have American-born children AND grandchildren.
In some sectors of the economy important to our area – tourism, agriculture/forestry/game, and construction— undocumented immigrants constitute approximately 9% – 16.7% of the workforce. It would take over three TRILLION dollars, an ICE staff in the tens of thousands, hundreds of additional prisons (public and/or private) and decades to deport all undocumented immigrants.
What’s Happening Now
Last week, the Trump Administration gutted restrictions preventing the deportation of law-abiding undocumented immigrants. Current Department of Homeland Security memos call for the removal of nearly all undocumented immigrants, a tripling of the number ICE agents, and the stripping of due process and privacy protections. In some areas, ICE agents have now begun conducting raids on church shelters and courthouses, and are already asking to use our local resources: our law enforcement personnel, our jails and other government employees to divert from local business to assisting ICE, a federal agency.
Trump needs local officials’ assistance to carry out his agenda. But, according to the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), local law enforcement has no legal obligation to assist with civil immigration enforcement, which is the responsibility of the federal government.”
We need our local government to stay out of the deportation business.
The New York State Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, has issued guidelines for local law enforcement that are legally sound and that will prevent local communities from violating the US Constitution (and being at risk for related lawsuits).
Contact Your Local Sheriff
We urge you to both call your County Sheriff AND write a regular, old-fashioned letter. Consider cc:ing your letter to your County Executive, your town’s local Mayor and your local School Superintendent. As usual, feel free to make this text your own.
Sample Local Sheriff Call Script
Hello, I am calling to see what Sheriff [______]’s position is on supporting the Trump Administration’s new policy targeting law-abiding undocumented immigrants. Who can I speak to in your office to ensure Sheriff [_______] receives my message?
[make sure you get to the right person]
Is Sheriff [____________]aware that local law enforcement is not legally required to assist the federal government in enforcing civil federal law. What is the Sheriff’s position on this?
If planning to support Trump in the execution of this new policy, say this:
I oppose my local taxes being used to enforce federal immigration law. The enforcement of immigration law should be left to the federal government and not transferred to local law enforcement. The costs are a drain on local resources and divert funding from more effective safety and crime prevention methods. By eroding trust and cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities, public safety is also undermined. I call his attention to Attorney General Schneiderman’s Guidelines on Local Authority Participation — that is a sound approach that will protect everyone in the community.
If planning not to support Trump in the execution of this new policy, say this:
Thank you, for making the decision to not to support Trump in the execution of this new policy. I and many other members of our community support your decision.
Sample Local Sheriff Letter
Dear Sheriff [____________],
I am writing you about the Trump Administration’s new policy on the targeting law-abiding undocumented immigrants. I do not want my local taxes to be used to enforce federal immigration law. This would be a drain on local resources and divert funding from more effective and proven safety and crime prevention methods.
By eroding trust and cooperation between local law enforcement and immigrant communities, this new policy undermines everyone’s public safety.
New York State Attorney General Schneiderman has issued guidelines for local authorities such as the Sheriff’s office. I support the Attorney General’s guidelines. His approach is sound and doesn’t put our county at risk for violating the Constitution through unreasonable search and seizure.
Please approach your staff and those of the district’s law enforcement and other agencies to request they adopt these guidelines. They will protect everyone in the community.
I prefer to see my tax dollars being spent on combating real violent crime, education for our county’s kids and the numerous other productive activities that keep our county a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.
I would like to be kept informed on the progress of getting these provisions adopted in your district.
YOUR FULL ADDRESS
CITY STATE ZIP
Sheriff Contact Information (varies by County)
David W Harrison, Jr, Sheriff
85 Industrial Tract
Hudson, New York 12534
Adrian H. Anderson, Sheriff
150 North Hamilton Street
Poughkeepsie , NY 12601
P.J. Van Blarcum, Sheriff
Ulster County Law Enforcement Center
Kingston, NY 12401
Gregory Seeley, Sheriff
80 Bridge St
Catskill, New York 12414
Donald B Smith, Sheriff
3 County Center
Carmel, New York 10512