Sign the petition: Urge Governor Newsom to end California’s collaboration with ICE

Gavin Newsom, Governor of California


Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, migrant detention camps, and deportations continue to sweep the nation. While CA and other states have limited some involvement with ICE, California's state prison system continues to actively cooperate with the ICE.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California’s state prison system, readily responds to ICE’s detainer requests, a key tool for ICE to communicate with CDCR. Because of this collaboration, after serving years in state prison, instead of returning to their families, immigrants who are found suitable for parole are directly transferred into ICE jails that are fraught with inhumane abuse and with little access to legal representation.

Tith Ton is one such detainee. Tith is a substance abuse counselor in San Quentin, genocide survivor, valued community member, and beloved son who will be at risk of deportation this November. After serving 22 years in prison, Tith earned parole in his first hearing and proved that he is not a threat to society. On his release date, California plans to work with ICE and turn him over for deportation to a country he fled as a young child.

Sign the petition: Urge Governor Newsom to end California’s collaboration with ICE.

Tith was born in a labor camp in Battambang, Cambodia during a U.S.-backed genocide of the Cambodian people. Tith's family was granted refugee status in the United States in 1981, but they were only able to live in America's poorest and most volatile neighborhoods, with conditions mirroring those of the war-torn country they'd escaped. In Cambodia, Tith survived a genocide that killed a third of the country including much of his family. In Fresno, Tith lost his uncle to a gang shooting, was shot in a driveby, held his friend after he was gunned down, and watched two people get killed at a picnic.

At 14, Tith joined a gang and numbed himself with alcohol hoping to feel safe but lived in fear that every moment was his last. At 16, Tith killed a rival gang member. He’d be charged as an adult and sentenced to life in prison. While serving time, Tith truly turned his life around. He received his GED, took college classes, and became a licensed substance abuse counselor. Tith mentors other prisoners, facilitates classes in San Quentin’s Ethnic Studies classes, and actively provides for his family while inside.

Now, upon his release, the state of California plans to turn Tith over to ICE, to be deported to a country he's never known as home.

Tith is one of 11,000 incarcerated people in California who have served prison time only to face additional punishment through ICE detention and deportation.

California must end the collaboration between CDCR and ICE! When Tith is released from CDCR, the Governor has the power to intervene and stop ICE from taking Tith into their custody.

Sign the petition:Urge Governor Newsom to end the CDCR collaboration with ICE and this cycle of double punishment!

Participating Organizations:
American Friends Service Committee
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus
Asian Prisoner Support Committee
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
Communities United Against Violence
Daily Kos
Freedom for Immigrants
Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity
Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County
Kehilla Community Synagogue
Legal Services for Children
Public Health Justice Collective

To: Gavin Newsom, Governor of California
From: [Your Name]

We urge you to stop the collaboration between the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Grant Tith Ton parole and prevent him from being transferred over to ICE so Tith can remain in the United States with his family and community. Cease the collaboration between CDCR and ICE and allow families and communities to be reunited.