At Rubicon, we are saddened and moved to action by the latest federal policies punishing children and families seeking refuge in the United States.
These federal actions victimizing immigrants and refugees are the epitome of hate and bigotry.
Regrettably, these policies – which change daily – are just the most recent chapter in our nation’s shameful legacy of violence against people who look and act different from those who are in power.
No matter where we’re from, what we look like, or what language we speak, we should all care. The legacy that this administration is perpetuating includes the scourge of slavery and its separation of Black children from their families.
It includes the Native American boarding schools of the 19th and early 20th century, forcing apart Native American children from their families. During World War II, the federal government placed Japanese and Japanese-American families in internment camps in California. Today, we’re seeing an escalation of the mass incarceration of people of color. The most recent federal actions are but new methods to achieve the same unjust ends. It’s happening throughout the country, and it is happening right here in the Bay Area.
As reported by Time magazine on June 22, the U.S. Navy is preparing plans to build immigrant detention centers at decommissioned naval bases in Alabama, Arizona, and California, including at the Concord Naval Weapons Station (CNWS). CNWS has been the subject of longtime plans to develop affordable housing, a move that would support families looking to thrive rather than tearing them apart.
On June 25, the Mercury News reported that two adolescent girls who have been separated from their parents under the “zero tolerance” immigration policy are being held in a shelter in Contra Costa County.
The proposed conversion of the former base in Contra Costa County to an ICE detention center – pushing aside longstanding plans for affordable housing and replacing them with institutional hate – along with this news of the first detention of immigrant children in the Bay Area under the new policy, has only galvanized our commitment to advocate for justice.
Some say that the current hateful policies do not exemplify who we are. In truth, the policies are in keeping with a shameful national history. But, we can end that legacy now, in our lifetimes, before more generations are persecuted, before more lives destroyed. Change is possible.
We can, and we must do this. Our children, and subsequent generations, are depending on us to heal our country and do the right thing by taking action.
Only through collective action can we stop yet another wave of hateful persecution, and instead advance justice, and hope.
Visit Families Belong Together now to find the event closest to you.
I hope you will join us in this effort to be on the right side of history by ending the unlawful detention of minors, people of color, and other groups targeted by those in power.
President & CEO