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Sanctuary Task Force Update

The Sanctuary Task Force was prepared to welcome a new guest at Kehilla this week, but, sadly, the cruel system which funnels immigrants who earn parole from prison directly to ICE detention prevented this from happening.  Patricia Waller, a lawful permanent resident who was originally from Belize and who is a survivor of many years of domestic violence won her release from prison on Aug. 31st.  Instead of being able to come to Kehilla and quarantine as planned and then return to her friends and community, she was turned over to ICE and taken to a detention facility in Colorado. She is now far from her legal team and community, and she faces deportation to a country where she has not been since she was a child.

Read more about Patricia here:

On the same day, another community member, Tien Pham, originally from Viet Nam, was also turned over to ICE directly from prison.  He was not even allowed to see or embrace his family members who were waiting at the prison to pick him up.

Read more about Tien here:

We are angry that Governor Newsom and the California Department of Corrections continue to hand our community members over to ICE.  Nothing requires them to do so.  We believe that it is wrong to detain and deport people who have changed their lives and earned parole.  This is double punishment and results in unwarranted separation of families.

On Sunday August 30th, Kehilla was the co-sponsor of an online event called the Charles Joseph Community Forum. Charles Joseph, originally from Fiji, is yet another community member who was turned over to ICE after serving a prison sentence.  He was released from ICE detention in April due to risk factors for COVID-19.  He is now home with his family in Sacramento but still faces deportation unless he is pardoned by Governor Newsom.  The recording of the event is available here:  It is worthwhile to watch the whole recording, which includes several powerful and informative speakers. Of particular interest is the lovely 15-minute video about Charles and his family that starts at minute 35:22.

Call Governor Newsom at 916-445-2841

Even if you have called or written Governor Newsom previously regarding transfers, please call him again. Let him know that you are very disappointed that he turned over two long-term California residents, Patricia Waller and Tien Pham to ICE. Ask him to use his executive powers to end all transfers!

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The Weekly, Kehilla’s newsletter, is released every Thursday.