Family Separation ‘Affects the Trust and Legitimacy of All Law Enforcement’

San Diego, CA -- California's Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory (RIPA) Board, which advises the California Department of Justice in its efforts to eliminate racial and identify profiling in the state, has issued the statement below regarding separation of vulnerable families in the southern border.

The RIPA Board is made up of a mix of community and faith leaders, academic experts and law enforcement leaders, including the President of the California Police Chiefs Association and the Commissioner of California Highway Patrol.

RIPA Board Co-Chairs, Andrea Guerrero, Alliance San Diego’s Executive Director, and Rev. Ben McBride from the PICO National Network, proposed the statement which was unanimously approved:

“The Racial and Identity Profiling (RIPA) Board is a diverse body made up of law enforcement leaders, civil and human rights leaders, and academic experts in California. One of the core functions of the Board is to improve the racial and identity sensitivity of law enforcement in the state to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Public safety depends on public trust, and that trust is eroded when community members are mistreated.

In response to the separation of vulnerable migrant families, many of whom are seeking asylum at the California-Mexico border, the RIPA Board expresses concern about this law enforcement tactic. The images of parents being torn from children, and children being housed in caged areas, sleeping on the floor, raise critical questions about potentially insensitive and inhumane treatment that could cause irreparable harm, especially to the children. How some law enforcement officials treat people directly affects the trust and legitimacy of all law enforcement. If we are to build that trust and legitimacy, law enforcement must treat all people with dignity and respect.”