ICIJ Denounces the Riverside Sheriff Department Joining DeSantis’ Anti-Immigrant Task Force
For Immediate Release //
June 23, 2023
Contact: Tamara Marquez, firstname.lastname@example.org, (562) 212-2664
Riverside, CA – Yesterday, June 22nd, 2023, Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, announced a “Nationwide Coalition of Sheriffs Fighting Back Against the Biden Border Crisis” composed of over 90 sheriffs across the country. The Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice vehemently condemns Riverside Sheriff Bianco’s decision to sign onto an anti-immigrant task force to further criminalize immigrants and perpetuate the racist legacy of the war on drugs. We are deeply concerned about the implications of this action and the potential harm it poses to Riverside County Immigrant communities that comprise more than 20% of the population.
By aligning himself with such a task force led by the fascist Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, Sheriff Bianco has demonstrated a troubling disregard for the principles of justice, equality, and human rights. Instead of fostering an inclusive and compassionate environment, he has chosen to contribute to a climate of fear and discrimination, targeting some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
It is essential to recognize that immigrants and refugees have always been an integral part of the fabric of our society, contributing to our economy, culture, and communities. They deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. By embracing an anti-immigrant agenda, Sheriff Bianco disregards the countless positive contributions immigrants and refugees make daily and instead perpetuates harmful stereotypes and policies.
Moreover, the continued criminalization of immigrants and refugees and the expansion of the war on drugs only deepen existing racial disparities and perpetuate systemic injustice. These policies disproportionately impact marginalized communities, fuel mass incarceration, and divert vital resources away from initiatives that could address the root causes of crime and promote community well-being.
“As an organization committed to equality, justice, and human rights, we call on Sheriff Bianco to reconsider his stance and withdraw his support from this harmful task force. We urge him to embrace policies prioritizing inclusivity, compassion, and the protection of all residents, regardless of their immigration status,” said Luis Nolasco Senior Policy Advocate and Organizer at the ACLU Southern California.
“We call upon local leaders, community organizations, and concerned citizens to stand together in opposition to Sheriff Bianco’s participation in the anti-immigrant task force and urge him to withdraw his support. In this crucial time, it is imperative that we foster a society that embraces diversity, upholds the rights of all individuals, and promotes justice for everyone. We must challenge and resist policies that seek to marginalize and criminalize immigrants, recognizing that a truly just and inclusive society can only be achieved when we respect and protect the rights and dignity of every person.” said Javier Hernandez, Executive Director of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice.