Advocacy

Homies Unidos believes in the inherent human rights of youth, families and incarcerated people, to pursue their dreams and achieve their full potential in a just, safe, healthy and dignified way. The work we are doing with our partner ASAPLE in El Salvador and Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice Network will change the way criminal justice reform is viewed; from a state and national issue to its transnational implication.

The intersection of the criminal justice and the immigration system has created an endless cycle of displacement of countless incarcerated immigrants who are discriminately have to serve longer sentences and are not going back to their families but deported, to forever be banged form reunifying with their families in the U.S. While advocates are challenging initiatives and putting in place propositions that have freed non-violent offenders, Criminalized immigrants continue to be impacted by draconian laws such as the federal law 1996 IIRIRA and Illegal Reentry forcing many to be criminalized and deported.

By organizing immigrant families to bring their voice into the spaces where the Criminal justice advocates are having conversations and decisions are taking place. We will bridge two movements to make our cause stronger and more impactful.

THE WHITE HOUSE EXECUTIVE ORDER

ENFORCING FEDERAL LAW WITH RESPECT TO TRANSNATIONAL CRIMINAL ORGANIZATIONS AND PREVENTING INTERNATIONAL TRAFFICKING

President Trump Executive Order will impact formerly incarcerated immigrants people and former gang members, it will impact anyone helping families abroad who may send funds to members of gangs whose gangs are named as transnational criminal organization, such as MS13 gang, the Zetas and others….

Promoting Pro-Immigrant and Youth Violence  Prevention Policies

The policies that Homies Unidos has chosen to support are in line with ending violence against immigrants and promoting the humane treatment of marginalized youth and people. Because Homies Unidos represents a group of people who are often targeted and classified as “criminals” due to their background and prior involvement in “criminal” activity, we support legislation that reinforces due process and makes gives every person an opportunity to prove their character so as to stay united with their families here in the U.S. We have advocated for policies that assist in the prevention of classifying people as criminals. We have continued our advocacy for legislation that would prevent the vicious cycle of violence that traps youth such as the Prop 57.

Countering Anti-Immigrant and  Policies and Bill That Continue Incarcerating Our Youth

In 2010, an increase of detentions occurred due to an increase in law enforcement collaboration with the federal government in implementing immigration policy. These increases are due to programs such as the 287g agreement as enacted by IIRIRA 1996 have caused law enforcement to racially profile people in the community we serve resulting in detentions and eventually deportations. Arizona’s SB1070 would had given full power to Law Enforcement to criminalize immigrants.

We need to continue advocating for just immigrant policies and challenging those bills that further anti immigrant sentiment and exposes immigrants to be racially profiled.

Homies Unidos Current advocacy actions in 2020: 

Re-introduce AB1282:  After the failure of AB 1282, which passed the legislature in 2019, but was vetoed by Gov. Newsom, would have prohibited the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), our state prison system, from facilitating or allowing private security corporations to conduct immigration enforcement arrests of individuals in CDCR custody. Currently, private security corporations, specifically notorious global private prison corporation G4S, conduct about 1/3 of the immigration arrests of individuals who have earned their release from CDCR.  Attached is a factsheet about AB 1282

DROP LWOP Campaign: In conjunction with the rally that will be held in Sacramento March 9th, 2020, community organizers will create opportunities for legislators to be educated about LWOP and the need for sentencing reform. The coalition is demanding that Governor Gavin Newsom dramatically accelerate the pace of LWOP sentence commutations, one of the only paths available for people with LWOP to be considered for release. Former Governor Jerry Brown was applauded by criminal justice advocates for the historic commutation of 147 people with LWOP sentences. As of February 2020, Governor Newsom has granted only seven. More than 5,200 people are serving LWOP sentences in California’s prisons. 

Over 70% of people sentenced to LWOP are Black or Brown. The average age of someone sentenced to LWOP is 19 years old. The majority are first-time offenders and have no prior convictions. Nearly 90% of people serving LWOP in women’s prisons were not the main perpetrator of the crime they were convicted for, and the overwhelming majority are survivors of sexual, physical and intimate partner abuse. Attached Drop the LWOP for the Governor