Dignity Dialogue Notes 7/24

Introduction- Vicky Matey talked about her time over the weekend at Latinx Pride- 1st held in Seattle. It was a celebration with resources, direct action, motivation, organization, music and food- a very inviting and welcoming experience.

Intersectionality- We went around and talked in groups about what we thought intersectionality was.

  • Some online definitions of intersectionality:

o   the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

o   overlapping or intersecting social identities and related systems of oppressiondomination, or discrimination. Intersectionality is the idea that multiple identities intersect to create a whole that is different from the component identities.

o   a concept often used in critical theories to describe the ways in which oppressive institutions (racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, classism, etc.) are interconnected and cannot be examined separately from one another.

Kate’s Law- José covered this Bill which was introduced in 2015, but didn’t pass in Senate. José mentioned when using someone’s name in a Bill it can create an emotional narrative and state of mind. This is a controversial issue and criminal-justice reform advocates warn that the bill may do more harm than good if it is passed (passed House, now going to Senate again).

  • Here is an article posted on Wednesday, July 26th 2017 in favor- “The Senate Should Pass ‘Kate’s Law’ and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act:


  • “Kate’s Law provides for prison sentences of up to two years for “any [non-criminal] ‘undocumented immigrant’ who has been denied admission, excluded, deported, or removed, or who has departed the United States while an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal is outstanding, and subsequently enters, attempts to enter, crosses the border to, attempts to cross the border to, or is at any time found in the United States.”
  • Here is an article posted on Sunday, July 9th 2017 not in favor- “The Trouble with Kate’s Law”


  • And another- http://www.thedailybeast.com/is-kates-law-a-terrible-idea
  • “Kate’s Law, which passed the House at the end of June, is named after Kate Steinle, who was killed after a criminal undocumented immigrant allegedly shot her in San Francisco in 2015”.
  • The bill seeks to increase maximum sentences for foreigners who try to re-enter the U.S. either legally or illegally if they have been deported, barred from entering, or removed. It also stiffens the penalties for foreign felons who try to come back to the U.S.

·         Other articles surrounding ‘Kate’s Law’ and the controversy- ‘Kate’s Law’ battle shifts to the Senate, testing Dems:


Dems will press for no votes on ‘Kate’s Law’ –– but not too hard:



Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)- Vicky talked a bit about DACA and the challenges that still exist for DREAMers and undocumented students. While some receive scholarships, those still may fall victim to difficult feelings of loss and disappointment. Saw it as a step forwards, but it’s not the answer. Some don’t like to be called or referred to as DREAMers, and Vicky personally speaking said, “it is ignoring our existence… not taking life seriously….trying to escape our darkness…. I stay up thinking about our families….. DACA is not an inclusive program”. And while 20 attorney generals signed in support of DACA (send Bob Ferguson a thank you for his contributions)- 9 states, 1 governor (all coming from a hateful place and were a part of the Muslim ban as well) are wanting Trump to terminate DACA. They are a group of Republicans, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and attorneys general of Arkansas, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia, as well as Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter.


  • Executive order Obama pushed for and founded in 2012
  • DACA allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.
  • There are requirements and the process is not easy. Fees ($495.00 for when you re-submit every two years) and application renewals. Schedule appointments. Lawyer expenses. Send documents and records.


  • Don’t know what DACA will look like, but it wasn’t there previously. The Dream Act passed by 5 votes the first time.

Not only DACA deserve to be here- it isn’t about citizenship, it’s much more. It’s breaking down our system of oppression and truly representing the most marginalized communities.

Hunger Strikes & Detention Centers- Maru mentioned that there are no hunger strikes happening now at the NWDC.

  • Oregon state law- doesn’t permit state funding for immigration enforcement. Governor Kate Brown stated Oregon won’t use state dollars to arrest undocumented immigrants.


o   However, three Oregon Legislators and others (Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence, Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, and Rep. Greg Barreto, R-Pendleton) are forming an initiative petition that would repeal the Oregon law prohibiting local and state police from enforcing federal immigration laws.


  • Trump has been reaching out to county jails to use as detention centers

o   Not obligated to provide interpreters or report about suicides

o   Don’t offer support for other languages

  • NORCOR Adult Corrections and Juvenile Detention in Oregon- effects of those arrested who are typically sent to Tacoma, WA to await deportation.


o   Budget to house $100,000-150,000 per year is now at $1,000,000

o   Article about ICE agent being upset about detaining too many and ICE officer worried about lawsuits. “We’re going to get sued,” the agent told me at one point. “You have guys who are doing whatever they want in the field, going after whoever they want.”


o   Connection with the proposed “mega-jail” in Ferndale- next to land that belongs to Homeland Security 

o   The fight here at the jail in Bellingham needs to be stronger

o   Not only people in Washington state are affected and impacted

o   Today someone from New York was detained here in WA

o   Opens space for more community members to be detained

o   What we have now- if we don’t act fast- we may lose it

o   Possible law to be passed in Mexico to ensure Mexican constituents will represent people detained

o   Thus far haven’t seen any one represented

o   Position Party wants to help- very likely to pass- comes from hunger strikes

o   Take it to other governments in other countries building national pressure

o   Establish more connections who are fighting the Natural Gas Plant- LNG

o   Local to international moving 

o   City of Tacoma- has until September to decide

o   No detention center OR expand

o   Petition online- Facebook page- Don’t need to live in Tacoma- tell to revoke business license for it violates public health conditions

o   GEO has never provided fire drills

  • What happens in a natural disaster?
  • How do you evacuate the facility?


“Post Card Attack”- Audrey gave an update of the vigils

Family Forum- Edgar talked about the event and how it went.

  • Sheriff seemed flustered and upset 

o   Maybe was thinking of a different format for speaking

o   How impactful it was to hear stories by people in our community talking about interactions with the Bellingham Police Department and the Sheriff

o   Elfo felt being bombarded with questions

o   Said there was 2 components of ICE

o   Malcom Oliver (POC- diversity aspect) was present- hired to “help” sheriff’s office to have clean image

o   Struggle for power- wanted to control the room- there was tension in the space- some people walked out and left

o   Sheriff Elfo discredited all the stories because no names were given

  • Claims to have the best department/ officers in the country

o   He was found guilty by state for using funds

o   The event showed a different side of the Sheriff and was effective overall

o   We will debrief and take next steps

o   Share video and livestream on Facebook

o   Elfo publicly did a smear campaign of Michelle Vendiola in regards to the freeway protest- said she was guilty

  • Was proud of his testimony in Olympia

*Shout out to Alex for taking these great notes!


One thought on “Dignity Dialogue Notes 7/24

  1. Great notes! I heard that the father of Kate from Kate’s Law does not want his daughter’s name to be used in a smear campaign against undocumented immigrants.


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