There is a bit of confusion about how the City of Novato contributes to the Marin-to-ICE pipeline. We have an exemplary Chief of Police, Adam McGill, who is firmly against using local resources to enforce immigration policy. We have an exemplary council member, Josh Fryday, who is firmly against family separation in specific and our current immigration policy in general. However, we have no jail in Novato. So when people are detained by Novato police and transported to County Jail, they may become part of the sheriff's ICE pipeline. They may be family men and women, and pillars of the community. They may never be charged with a crime in Marin. And yet they may be turned over to ICE, held indefinitely, and/or sent to a country they haven't seen in 20 years. Which is why hundreds of Marinites, including many Novatans, are speaking out against Sheriff Doyle and ICE.
This is what I said at the TRUTH Act Forum on December 6 at the Marin County Board of Supervisors' chambers.
I'm a lifelong resident of Marin, and I'm proud of our history of activism.
The founding of the modern environmental movement in Ross in the 1930s.
Supporting civil rights in the 1960s, when, for instance, the mayor of Novato volunteered in Mississippi.
Early this year, the mayor of Novato — not the same one — visited the Mexico border to protest the separation of immigrant families.
These Marin individuals and their activism are all things for me to be proud of.
Knowing this history of standing up for big, important things, it makes me angry to realize that, today, we in Marin are now part of the problem. We are creating fear in our own community.
We are standing up for a system that fires tear gas at refugee women and children. A system that is still separating families.
And if you think, no, that's not us, that's not what we do in Marin: here's the thing: when a family man gets picked up by local police, or Marin County sheriffs, and brought into our jail, he may not be charged with a crime. He may be told he's free to go and pointed toward the door.
Then, when he walks through that door, he finds himself suddenly in three-point shackles — at the wrist, belly, and ankles — then he's put in a black van and taken away.
Just like those mothers and children fleeing tear gas, he feels terribly afraid.
Just like those families separated at border crossings, he feels like he will never see his loved ones again, like he will never be fully whole again.
Which is why I urge you, the Board of Supervisors and the Marin County Sheriff's Office, to make us proud again.
Zero cooperation with ICE. So we can show who we are. So we can show others how to be. That's what leaders do.