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Sonoma County affirms commitment to Safeguarding our Immigrants

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Sonoma County affirms commitment to Safeguarding our Immigrants

Board calls for consideration of an immigration summit and assessment of community services and needs

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors today directed County staff to identify and make recommendations related to critical issues facing Sonoma County’s immigrant community. Additionally, County staff will analyze recently introduced state and federal legislation and identify actions the County can take to support local immigrants, including consideration of an immigration summit.  That analysis will include identifying services for immigrants, conducting a gap analysis, and assessing opportunities to support legal services for immigrants within our community.

“Now more than ever, our County must show its support for our immigrant community. Today we adopted a resolution that reaffirms our commitment to the rights of all our residents, including those that are undocumented. But that is just the first step, and while this gesture is important, we need to take concrete steps to take action to support those in our community who are under siege. We are asking staff to immediately review our current policies, programs, and support services, and those of our governmental and community partners, to make sure that Sonoma County is utilizing all available resources to support our immigrant population,” said Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Shirlee Zane. 

Actions include:

- Research and analyze current and recently introduced or enacted immigration laws and executive orders to understand the legal and political landscape, identify opportunities to advocate for change at the State and Federal levels, and weigh any potential risks associated with those efforts.

- Engage with local governments, local nonprofits, and community members to consider a plan for an immigrant rights summit that would identify strategic areas for action, support and potential solutions.

- Identify services for immigrants, analyze the sufficiency and eligibility for those services as compared with the need, conduct a service gap analysis, and research and assess opportunities for the County to support legal services for immigrants either within the County or within community organizations.

- Identify current outreach and education efforts and consider opportunities to enhance or support those efforts.

On January 10, 2017, the Board adopted the County’s 2017-2018 Legislative Platform, which sets forth the issues the County intends to advocate for at a State and Federal level. The Platform includes the County’s intention to support efforts to enhance legal protections for undocumented immigrants, increase funding for legal services and deportation defense, and address the growing number of undocumented children crossing the border, including increasing funds for immigration-related legal services, shelter and care.