2017-07-14 / Letters

How would SB 54 affect families?

I was so sorry to see your editorial board pressing our Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin to publicly oppose Senate Bill 54 in the name of public safety. The board quotes Sheriff Geoff Dean, who is opposed to SB 54. The board might instead have quoted Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who supports SB 54 and considers it to be “absolutely consistent with the values of the Los Angeles Police Department.”

I write this to point out that two different people who have committed their professional lives to protecting the public can interpret this bill very differently.

I have followed the progress of this bill because as a family physician, I see the adverse health consequences that stress and fragmentation cause family members. This bill does not provide any protection to undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes that are legally defined as “serious or violent.” If SB 54 passes, however, all other undocumented immigrants who enter the judicial system will be treated by the same standards used for documented residents and citizens.

It is never possible to fully know the outcome of any choice, but I invite you to reflect upon the possible consequences to family members, co-workers and neighbors who see someone integral to their life being treated by a standard that is not based on merit or fairness.

Josephine Soliz

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