California Assembly Approves ‘HOME Act’ to End ICE Grabbing Immigrants as They Are Released from State Custody

Josh Dawsey/The Washington Post via AP, Pool

By The Vanguard Staff

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California State Assembly this week approved, on a final vote of 54-18, the “HOME Act (Harmonizing Our Measures for Equality),” designed to ensure immigrant Californians who earn release from state prison under existing, broadly-supported criminal justice reforms can come home instead of being transferred to ICE, according to bill author Assemblyperson, Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles).

The measure now moves to the state Senate.

Carrillo said, “I believe in one system of justice that treats everyone equally regardless of where they are born. California must stop ICE transfers at state prisons and end the double punishment of immigrants who have earned parole.”

According to supporters, the HOME Act passed the Assembly’s Public Safety, Judiciary, and Appropriations Committees with “strong support from legislators, the endorsement of scores of community and civil rights groups, and with no registered opposition from any organization.”

At hearings and at a press conference, community members directly affected by ICE transfers underscored the “urgency of harmonizing state policy with existing criminal justice reforms which are helping to reduce mass incarceration and address racism in our legal systems.”

Borey “Peejay” Ai, a Community Advocate at Asian Prisoner Support Committee who was previously transferred to ICE after earning release from state prison, and who was involved in crafting reforms for people who received convictions as youth, commented:

“As someone who helps facilitate peer navigation for reentry, I’ve seen firsthand how people who return to their families after earning parole are set on the pathway to success. The HOME Act is a simple fix that will change lives and create powerful new opportunities.”

The measure’s backers said, “California’s state prison system currently transfers immigrant community members who earn release under existing reforms to ICE for detention and deportation, a cruel ‘double punishment’ that devastates families and communities,” adding the bill would  “create parity for all Californians who earn release under these reforms so that they can return home and rebuild their lives.”

Other legislation supporters are watching includes, the Racial Justice Act for All (AB 256 of 2022), Justice for Survivors Act (AB 124 of 2022), compassionate releases for those who are sick and dying (AB 960 of 2021), reforms for people who received convictions as youth (SB 260, SB 261, AB 1308, SB 394), reform of harsh laws that caused people to be sentenced for murders they did not commit (SB 1437 of 2018), elderly and medical parole releases and clemency actions by the governor/

The HOME Act’s principal co-authors include Assemblymember Ash Kalra and Senator Scott Wiener. Additional co-authors include Assemblymembers Mia Bonta, Isaac Bryan, Matt Haney, Josh Lowenthal and Damon Connolly.

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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