Ms. Foundation for Women and Partners Call for Expansion of Sanctuary Policies to Center Black Women, Girls and Gender Nonconforming People

Ms. Foundation for Women and Partners Call for Expansion of Sanctuary Policies to Center Black Women, Girls, and Gender Nonconforming People

Hostile Trump Administration Prompts Renewed Call for Expanded Sanctuary Policies for Vulnerable Immigrants and Nonimmigrants

NEW YORK, NY— As the Trump Administration plans immigration raids and continues attacks on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) youth, immigrants, and multiple vulnerable populations, the Ms. Foundation for Women is calling for the expansion of sanctuary policies at the local level to center Black women and gender nonconforming people in a new report, Centering Black Women, Girls, Nonconforming People and Fem(me)s in Campaigns for Expanded Sanctuary and Freedom Cities, released earlier today.

Trump’s continued support of racist, power-hungry officials and issuances of anti-immigrant executive orders has sparked new conversations around strengthening sanctuary policies. In response, organizations like BYP 100 and Mijente banded together to call for “expanded sanctuary,” and groups like the Black Alliance for Just Immigration have called for the creation of “freedom cities.” In a report released today, the National Black Women’s Justice Initiative and the Ms. Foundation builds on this work by outlining strategies to protect Black women, girls, gender nonconforming people and fem(me)s from over- criminalization, incarceration, and policing — experiences shared by nonimmigrant Black communities, as well as Black and other immigrant communities alike — within campaigns for expanded sanctuary and freedom cities.

“Now is the time for our movements to make bold demands and set forth bold visions that call for the dismantling of systems that punish and harm our people and for the investment in our communities. No city should prioritize police over quality public education, jails over good jobs or deportation over comprehensive care for all. We should all have the freedom to thrive, real safety and real justice,” said Charlene Carruthers, BYP100 National Director.

“Now more than ever, we should dare to imagine an inclusive democracy that embraces freedom for all. Increasing our collective capacity to advance a safety agenda that centers Black women, girls, gender nonconforming people and fem(me)s will dramatically improve the quality of our nation’s implementation of a justice for all, ” said Dr. Monique Morris, National Black Women’s Justice Institute, co-author of the report.

“Black women, girls, trans and gender nonconforming people are often left out of the conversation, whether we’re talking about DACA, protecting immigrant communities, the school to prison pipeline, policing in communities of color, or mass incarceration,” said Andrea J. Ritchie, Researcher in Residence at Barnard Center for Research on Women and co-author of the report. “Yet Black women and girls make up a growing number of immigrants to the U.S., 37% of students arrested in schools, and are the fastest growing population in jails and prisons across the country.  This report outlines concrete steps legislators, policymakers, and institutions can take to protect Black women, girls, trans and gender non-conforming people who are being targeted for intensified policing, criminalization, detention, and deportation in the current

political climate.”

“We must ensure safety and security for immigrants and nonimmigrants, especially in a political climate filled with intentional regressive and oppressive policy rollbacks. The Ms. Foundation for Women believes there is a critical need and an urgency for centering of cis and transgender Black women and girls in sanctuary policies, as we recognize the multiple and unique forms of oppression these women face,” said Teresa Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women.

Through strategic reallocation and reinvestment of funds, the Ms. Foundation and grantee-partners will seek to achieve its vision for expanded sanctuary and freedom cities by pursuing the following policy agenda:

  • Eliminate school-based arrests; criminal penalties for traffic stops; racial profiling; quotas for tickets and arrests, and by decriminalizing and deprioritizing enforcement of low-level, poverty and survival related, and drug-related offenses which serve as entry points to the criminal legal and deportation systems.
  • Eliminate or mitigate contact between criminalized immigrant communities and immigration authorities.
  • Divestment of funds from policing, criminalization and militarization and reallocation of tax dollars into programs that support–housing, jobs, accessible public education, mental health & drug treatment services and healthcare.
  • Expansion of workers’ rights; increased wages; pre-arrest diversion programs; the right to organize, and access to cooperative and employment opportunities for marginalized communities such as transgender and gender nonconforming communities.
  • No criminalizing information sharing or collaboration between municipal institutions, including but not limited to, police, and federal immigration authorities.

A link to the full report can be found here.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, September 14, 2017

Contact: Courtney O’Neal,, 215.801.4381


For more than 40 years, the Ms. Foundation for Women has secured women’s rights and freedoms with a special commitment to building the power of low-income, immigrant, and women of color. The foundation invests funds, time, expertise and training in trailblazing organizations nationwide.