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Vision Zero Coalition Speaks Out Against Plan to Deport Immigrants with Traffic Violations

 In Enforcement, Media, Opinion, Public Policy, Vision Zero

Friday, February 24 — Nuala Sawyer San Francisco Examiner

A move by the Trump Administration to use traffic violations as a means for deporting non-citizens has drawn a strong reaction from a coalition of transportation advocates in San Francisco. The Vision Zero Coalition released a statement Friday condemning the idea and asking the government not to use the Vision Zero movement as a tactic for increasing deportations.

The Trump Administration released documents on Tuesday stating its intention to increase deportations of people living illegally in the United States. New Homeland Security Department memos lay out that any immigrant living illegally in the U.S. who’s been charged with any crime will now be an immigration enforcement priority. This policy has been expanded to include minor crimes, such as shoplifting, or traffic offenses like speeding.

San Francisco’s Vision Zero Coalition is made up of 45 community organizations whose mission is to ensure the swift and equitable implementation of Vision Zero—the elimination of all traffic deaths—by 2024. This goal is being pursued from a number of angles, including improved infrastructure, educational training, and a call for increased enforcement of traffic violations that could result in injury or death. But using those violations as a means to expand deportations is unethical, the coalition states.

“As members of the Vision Zero Coalition, we forcefully reject the Trump administration’s plan to pursue deportation for undocumented immigrants who have committed minor traffic offenses,” states a press release send out by the group Friday. “Individuals in low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately killed and injured by traffic violence on our streets. Now, the primary victims of this violence may also be unfairly targeted by biased and punitive enforcement.”

“We refuse to allow Vision Zero — San Francisco’s goal to eliminate all serious and fatal traffic injuries by 2024 — to be perverted into an excuse to round up and deport our undocumented neighbors and friends, just as we have previously denounced racial profiling committed in the name of traffic safety,” the coalition said.

To drive the point home, the 45 community groups have pledged to work with, not against, the communities who are vulnerable to deportation. “We declare unequivocally that Vision Zero must not be used as a cover for raids, racial profiling, or other unjust attacks on our fellow San Franciscans,” the coalition states.

Friday’s press release was signed by The Arc San Francisco, CC Puede, Chinatown TRIP, California Walks, The Friends of Monterey Boulevard, The North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, San Francisco Transit Riders, Senior & Disability Action, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation, TODCO and Walk San Francisco.