Immigrant Rights

Safety Matters - Vivir Seguros

An intentional collaboration between the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU) and the American Friends Service Committee Human Migration and Mobility Central Valley Programs (AFSC)

Our Mission

To enhance public safety and civil liberties for communities in Tulare, Madera and San Joaquin Counties by minimizing immigration consequences from day-to-day interactions with the police.

The Problem

Failure to achieve immigration reform, combined with aggressive immigration enforcement at the federal level, has created dangerous complications for local police and sheriffs, as well as the communities they serve. Immigration enforcement programs, such as the misleadingly named Secure Communities ("S-Comm") program, result in mass deportations of those who come in contact with the police—even people who are arrested for only minor traffic violations or after reporting a crime to the police. Denial of driver's licenses to people who cannot prove lawful presence leads to unnecessary arrests and vehicle impoundments. S-Comm and related police practices do not make our communities safer, but do separate families and create a climate of fear and uncertainty so that even victims and witnesses of crime are less likely to turn to the police for help.

The Solution: Police Practices that Prioritize Public Safety and Civil Rights

  1. Minimize unnecessary stops and arrests by creating priorities for traffic and pedestrian stops, limiting questioning by local police about citizenship and immigration status, and recognizing alternative forms of identification for the purpose of issuing citations (rather than making arrests) for infractions.
  2. End unreimbursed immigration enforcement expenses to our counties by declining to enforce immigration detainers for persons who have never been convicted of a serious crime.
  3. Create opportunities for unlicensed motorists to park a car safely, have a licensed driver pick up the car, or have the car towed to the owner's home rather than impound such vehicles for 30 days.

How to Get Involved

Community coalitions are forming in Madera, San Joaquin, and Tulare counties, as well as in the City of Fresno. Contact Daniel Galindo at (415) 293-6382 and or Miguel Baez at (559) 733-4844 and Check out our facebook page at


This first draft of the Safety Matters - Vivir Seguros Campaign fact sheet was designed to share with you—the community organizations and leaders that we hope to list as endorsers and partners in our next draft. Please join us!

Background on AFSC and the ACLU

The Safety Matters – Vivir Seguros Campaign is grounded in AFSC's history and values as a faith-based organization and in the voices of the communities with whom we are deeply connected. We believe that immigrants, regardless of status, deserve the same civil and human rights as all U.S. citizens and residents. AFSC's mission is to promote the elimination of policies and detention practices that separate family members, particularly parents from their children, and to accompany the most vulnerable people in the protection and defense of their human and civil rights.

The ACLU of Northern California is the largest affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, an organization dedicated to protecting and expanding constitutional protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. We work to extend these freedoms to segments of our population who have been traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, the LGBT community, prisoners, people with disabilities, immigrants, and the poor. Immigrants' rights work has been part of the ACLU since its founding in 1920, and the ACLU is currently leading lawsuits across the country to challenge state and local anti-immigrant initiatives like Arizona's SB 1070. For more information about the ACLU of Northern California's recommendations to minimize public safety costs and immigration consequences of police practices, see our report, Costs and Consequences: The High Price of Policing Immigrant Communities,