PCIS advocates on behalf of individual immigrants to achieve justice as well as seeking systemic change that improve social and economic conditions for immigrant families. A key part of this work is walking alongside individual undocumented immigrants who are arrested, detained or deported by the American immigration system – including ICE (US Immigrant Customs and Enforcement).
An example of systemic change is PCIS’s opposition to Police Officer Duane Goodman hiring in September 2021 by the Long Beach Police Department. PCIS opposed Officer Goodman’s hiring since he had been recently fired by the Seattle Police Department for multiple reasons including social media posts promoting violence against Hillary Clinton and President Obama, a vulgar Facebook post that denigrated undocumented immigrants and unprofessional behavior that escalated an incident involving a man having a mental health crisis.
PCIS leaders published a December 2021 Letter to the Editor in the Chinook Observer asking for a meeting with Chief Flint Writing and calling for Goodman’s dismissal. The letter included quotes from local immigrants, for example:“ As an undocumented immigrant mother, I live in fear that any time I could be arrested by ICE. Knowing that this officer is hostile to immigrants generates more fear on me, as well as the immigrant community. If one day we have a problem, we will not feel safe calling the police. That creates insecurity for the entire community.”
Long Beach Mayor Jerry Phillips emailed PCIS President Ann Reeves on January 14, 2022 stating that Officer Goodman was no longer an officer with the Long Beach Police Department. PCIS followed up by calling Mayor Phillips to address:
- Reasons why Officer Goodman is no longer employed
- Challenges faced by the Police Department in filling officer positions and providing effective policing
- Need to build trust and overcome fear between police and the immigrant community
- Creation of an ongoing Police-Community panel with representation from different community elements.
PCIS hopes to receive direct responses to these concerns.