On July 13, one day before rumored ICE “raids” were to take place, Simi Valley City Councilwoman Ruth Luevanos posted a video on her Facebook page advising the targets (who are people who have active orders of removal after a deportation hearing) to not comply with ICE. Since Sen. Kamala Harris, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti all posted similar warnings (scripted in the same Dem comms shop, no doubt), she likely thought she was just keeping up with the cool kids.
But there was something very different about her video.
Like many of her fellow Democrats, she used “concentration camp” rhetoric, saying:
“I have news from our southern border, and right now the United States is in the business of running concentration camps…they’re asking them to drink out of toilets.”
She has “news from our southern border”? Councilwoman Luevanos’ city is about a three-hour drive from the southern border. She makes it sound as if she has breaking news sent to her by a confidential source, when she can drive down there at any time to see what is happening.
ICE is planning nationwide raids throughout our communities…not just targeting criminals…targeting all families. They’ve already said they’re going to have collateral deportations. This means tearing families apart, families that have worked here and lived here for generations, paid their taxes, followed all the laws, and are simply seeking a legal recourse that they haven’t had for years in our immigration system.
The Department of Homeland Security has been clear that the targets of these “raids” are illegal immigrants who have been through the judicial process and on whom there is an active Order of Removal. After an Order of Removal is issued, the standard procedure is for ICE to send the subject a “Bag and Baggage” letter ordering them to “report to a local ICE facility at a particular time and date” with their legal documents and a small piece of luggage to be deported.
If the subject ignores that letter, “ICE will refer your file to the fugitive unit, which tracks down and arrests those noncitizens who fail to report for removal. ICE agents could arrest you at your home, work, or school at anytime. They often come in the middle of the night, when you are expected to be asleep at your home.”
So, no, the people targeted in these raids are not people who have been here for generations as a family unit and working and paying taxes. According to an ICE press release about the recent surge in enforcement in San Diego:
“Of those arrested during this operation, 85 percent had prior criminal convictions and/or prior criminal charges. Convictions for those arrested included drugs, weapons offenses, hit-and-run, driving under the influence, theft, domestic violence, evading law enforcement and fraud criminal offenses.”
Obviously, Luevanos is either misinformed or deliberately misleading in her video.
Like other Democrat office holders, Luevanos’ video emphasized her “official” capacity.
What was very different about her video is the flag she’s sitting in front of while delivering her message of lawlessness.
Luevanos’ video showed her sitting in front of a United States flag that had been defaced. Instead of red and white stripes, the stripes on Luevanos’ flag were the stripes of a traditional Mexican serape (blanket). She’s also sitting in front of posters saying, “Stop tearing families apart,” “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention,” and “The young people will win.” It’s not clear whether this video was shot in her city council office or some sort of home office.
Judging by the reaction on the many Facebook groups dedicated to Simi Valley politics and community news, Luevanos’ video is extremely controversial. Residents slammed both the content and the “flag” behind Luevanos. By Monday morning a “Recall Ruth Luevanos” Facebook page had been set up, with its organizers urging residents to attend the next City Council meeting to make their feelings known.
Given that Luevanos’ introduction to local politics was her dramatic testimony at a City Council meeting in early 2018 regarding sanctuary state policies, it seems that she’s come full circle.