Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo’s Statement on AB 937, The Vision Act, Held in the California State Senate

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Sept. 01, 2022, SACRAMENTO, CA., Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo released the following statement regarding the California State Senate holding AB 937, the VISION ACT, leaving the bill short of passage. AB-937 is an immigrant and racial justice bill, which guarantees that any individual that has served their sentence or has otherwise been deemed eligible for release would not face being turned over to federal immigration authorities unless ICE officials present a federal warrant. 

"At the close of the 2021-2022 legislative cycle, AB 937, the Vision Act, fell three votes shy in the California State Senate from reaching the Governor’s desk," said Assemblywoman Carrillo. "The State Senate had an opportunity to send to Governor Newsom a policy bill that would end the double punishment of immigrants who have served their time, have been rehabilitated and have been found eligible for release by the state’s parole board. 

“As it stands, the California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will continue to collaborate with ICE and enforce a dual system of justice that treats non-citizens, including permanent residents and veterans, unequally by willingly providing notice of their release. The continued scapegoating of refugees and immigrants, as well as the perpetual use of the good immigrant, bad immigrant narrative is disgraceful and tarnishes the criminal justice reform work done in the state.

"I am thankful to the members of the Assembly that moved AB 937 forward last year, and the 18 members of the State Senate who voted on the measure this year. I am grateful to the coalition of advocates who put all their heart and soul into this measure and never gave up and kept pushing forward. We got very far when many thought we couldn’t. Redemption and rehabilitation are possible, and all people are worthy of freedom, worthy of justice, including those who made a mistake, and have atoned for that mistake. Our work will continue to be guided by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” 

Assemblywoman Carrillo, together with a group of California legislators, community groups, religious leaders, union workers, re-entry counselors, and members of the ICE Out of CA coalition rallied support, but fell three votes short of passing the bill on Wednesday. 

Angela Chan on behalf of the ICE Out of California coalition, which played a large role in spearheading the campaign to pass the VISION Act, expressed outrage in reaction to the Senate vote.

“The Senate’s failure to pass the VISION Act today means that families across the state will continue to see long-awaited reunions with loved ones who have earned release from prison or jail turned into a nightmare of family separation and ICE detention. Let us be clear: The VISION Act represents the consensus for the future. As we express outrage at today’s vote, we also pledge to continue working day and night to end the practice of ICE transfers. And most importantly, we honor the leadership of community members directly affected by ICE transfers, who in sharing their stories from prison cells, detention centers, and even across borders, have forever transformed public opinion on this issue.”

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