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September 14, 2017

Centering Black Women and Girls in Campaigns for Expanded Sanctuary and Freedom Cities

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.

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.

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 non-conforming communities.
  • No criminalizing information sharing or collaboration between municipal institutions, including but not limited to, police, and federal immigration authorities.

Read Executive Summary Here