Expanding Perspectives Forum
When: March 24, 2018
Where: Arcata United Methodist Church, Arcata, CA
As a follow-up to the Coastal LOC and Latin@ LOC's Unity Action in 2017, the Latin@ LOC organized a public forum with Humboldt County and Arcata law enforcement officials. The forum was focussed on immigrant issues, the agencies' relationship with ICE, and the agencies' thoughts on Sanctuary at both a city and county level.
Arcata's then-Police Chief Tom Chapman, Humboldt County Sheriff Billy Honsal, and Lieutenant Duane Christian (who presides over the Humboldt County Correctional Facility) sat on the panel for the public forum. Arcata United Methodist Pastor Bethany Cseh and Latin@ LOC leader Jenny Ventura chaired the event, and opened with three prepared questions for our law enforcement officials:
- What does it mean for Arcata to be a Sanctuary City in this moment?
- What is the Arcata Police Department and City of Arcata doing to inform the community of their rights and protections in a Sanctuary City?
- What is being done to improve safety for our immigrant communities?
In a time when the fear of being deported and separated from family is overwhelming in our immigrant communities, the support of local law enforcement is crucial. In order to maintain public safety for all, immigrants on the North Coast must be able to trust their local law enforcement agencies, and feel confident that they are not supporting an unjust and inhumane immigration system. The responses to these questions from Chief Chapman, Sheriff Honsal and Lieutenant Christian emphasized the need for national immigration reform, showed their values of safety, honesty and family, and condemned ICE's treatment of immigrant populations as well as their lack of transparency.