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California Partnership to End Domestic Violence moves to defend the California Values Act in lawsuit filed by the federal government

Press release
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2018

Media Contact:
Jessica Merrill, Communications & Development Manager: jessica@cpedv.org | (916) 444-7163, x118

California Partnership to End Domestic Violence moves to defend the California Values Act in lawsuit filed by the federal government

SACRAMENTO —The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership), represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has filed a motion to defend the California Values Act from the federal government’s lawsuit. The federal government seeks to block the Values Act and enable California police to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement deport California residents, which would erode trust between immigrant victims of domestic violence and the police.

As the federally-recognized domestic violence coalition in California, it is the Partnership’s duty to advocate on behalf of the needs of victims throughout the state. One hundred percent of the coalition’s members that are direct service providers assist immigrant populations, and at least one-quarter serve high levels of immigrants. For these reasons, the Partnership made the California Values Act one of its policy priorities in 2017 in an effort to safeguard schools, hospitals, courthouses, and law enforcement offices for immigrant victims and their children.

“Domestic violence exists in the shadows, often unseen in private homes. Immigrant victims in particular suffer in silence, and we must do all we can to ensure they feel safe reaching out for help,” said Partnership Executive Director Kathy Moore. “We know strong immigrant protections and community safety are inextricably linked, and we insist the federal government support our state’s interests.”

Data show the impact of increased immigration enforcement efforts on victim safety. A recent study revealed that 69% of law enforcement officials reported that domestic violence, as experienced by immigrant or limited English proficient victims, was harder to investigate and prosecute last year compared to 2016.[1]

If the California Values Act were struck down, there would be an increased burden on domestic violence victim service providers. In a recent survey of the Partnership’s member programs, 100% of respondents indicated they would need to divert significant resources to protect immigrant victims. Programs also indicated they would need to change safety-plans with victims to help them identify other avenues for protection when contacting law enforcement may not be safe during an emergency. “Disentangling local police from ICE is the only way to maintain open lines of communication and trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement,” said Partnership Director of Programs Jacquie Marroquin.

The President criticized the California Values Act at a Sanctuary Cities Roundtable yesterday, using the words “animals,” and “not human” to describe MS-13 gang members. Partnership Executive Director Kathy Moore responded, “President Trump’s name-calling behavior is similar to the verbal abuse we see in domestic violence situations. His frequent references of gang activity when discussing immigration policy ignores the majority of immigrants who are law-abiding members of our communities, including victims of domestic violence. This suggests deeply troubling and dangerous outcomes for all California communities.”
 

About the Partnership

The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (the Partnership) is California’s recognized domestic violence coalition, representing over 1,000 survivors, advocates, organizations and allied individuals across the state. Working at the state and local levels for nearly 40 years, the Partnership has a long track record of successfully advocating for over 200 pieces of legislation on behalf of domestic violence victims and their children. The Partnership believes that by sharing expertise, advocates and legislators can help end domestic violence. Through our public policy, communications and capacity-building programs, we create system-wide change that supports survivors and invests in prevention. Every day we inspire, inform and connect all those concerned with this issue, because together we’re stronger. With offices in Sacramento, the Partnership’s member programs span the entire state. For more information, visit www.cpedv.org.

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[1] National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project – American University, Washington College of Law (2018 May). Promoting Access to Justice for Immigrant and Limited English Proficient Crime Victims in an Age of Increased Immigration Enforcement: Initial Report from a 2017 National Survey. Washington, DC. Available at: http://library.niwap.org/wp-content/uploads/Immigrant-Access-to-Justice-National-Report.pdf.

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