In response to the election of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as President of the United States, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties issued the following statement:

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Voting is a cornerstone of our democracy and the voters have spoken. After a historic turnout, including 100 million voters who cast their ballots before Election Day, the people of the United States have chosen a new path forward with the election of Joe Biden as our nation’s 46th president.

The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties commends every voter who participated in the most critical election of our lifetime, especially voters who were targeted by unconscionable efforts to silence their voices. We commend the countless volunteers in our region and across the nation who organized to protect the constitutional rights of historically and systemically disfranchised voters. And we commend the election officials and poll workers who established and implemented safe, secure processes for casting and counting ballots – in the midst of an uncontrolled pandemic and in spite of the sitting president’s attempts to sabotage the election.

This is a victory for our democracy.

For the past four years, the ACLU has fought the Trump administration’s relentless assaults on our fundamental values, rights and freedoms.

Here in San Diego and Imperial counties – California’s second-largest county and its county with the most Latino residents per capita, respectively – we have challenged this administration’s anti-immigrant agenda in the courts, in our state legislature, in city halls and in the streets. We have sued the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the border; to demand due process for people in federal custody, including people seeking asylum; and more recently, to slow the spread of Covid-19 in our region’s federal jails and immigration detention centers.

The election of a new president brings a new, urgent opportunity to come together as a nation to advance equity, freedom and justice for everyone. We’re optimistic that a Biden administration will move swiftly to mitigate the harm and division fostered by the Trump administration and craft policies that benefit all Americans. We’re optimistic that unlike Trump, President-elect Biden will use the tremendous power of the office to protect, rather than trample people’s constitutional rights.

While the ACLU will gladly work with the incoming administration to repeal Trump’s oppressive policies, we are mindful that the systemic injustice that enables these policies is not dismantled with the transition of presidential power. So, we will hold the Biden administration accountable, as we have his predecessors and as we will all who follow.  And we will remain vigilant, resilient and organized, heartened by the words of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Through community engagement, advocacy and litigation, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties will continue to protect free speech and the right to protest. We will continue to oppose systemic racism and white supremacy. We will continue to advocate for social equity and racial justice. We will continue to work in coalition to achieve bold reforms in policing. We will continue to oppose mass surveillance. We will continue to fight for education equity and to protect students’ rights. We will continue to fight for gender equity. We will continue to defend access to abortion. We will continue to defend LGBTQ+ rights. We will continue to fight to end mass incarceration and to close detention centers. We will continue to advocate for a demilitarized border region and for the adoption of a fair, humane immigration system.

The ACLU has been fighting to protect and expand civil rights and freedoms for a century; and we’ve had a presence in this region since 1933. Our work has never been about who occupies the White House, but to realize our shared values, vision and struggle for a more perfect Union in which ‘’We the People” truly means everyone.