Santa Ana Resident Samuel Sixtos-Gomez Could Be Deported Because of OC Sheriff's Department Mistake

Around 1 p.m. on April 14, a pair of Santa Ana police officers responding to complaints of gang activity in the city's Bishop Manor neighborhood encountered Samuel Sixtos-Gomez. According to police, he was walking along East Bishop Street with a "known documented gang member." Officers ran his name and found that Sixtos-Gomez had an outstanding warrant for driving without a valid license in 2008. The native of the Mexican state of Guerrero had no other prior criminal record, although he had previously entered the United States illegally and had been deported several times.

"OCSD is supposed to protect the local community," says RAIZ's Nava Teodoro. "They have no business in federal immigration enforcement."

The misdemeanor offense for which police arrested Sixtos-Gomez that afternoon falls under the TRUST Act, which became law on Jan. 1 and protects undocumented, low-level offenders from being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by law-enforcement agencies. But, on April 18, after several days in the Orange County Jail, Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) officials allowed ICE agents to fetch Sixtos-Gomez at the jail and transport the 25-year-old to San Bernardino County's Adelanto Detention Center, a facility run by the Geo Group, a controversial, lawsuit-ridden private for-profit firm. He remains there until an immigration court decides if he should be deported.

"For me, it would be very sad and very unjust if they deport my son," Sixtos-Gomez's mother, Martha Sixtos, says in Spanish. "He's not a criminal. He's not a delinquent. His only 'mistake' is being undocumented. He's been in this country since he was 7 years old." She hasn't seen her son since the day of his arrest. Sixtos-Gomez also remains separated from his 6-year-old daughter and his two younger siblings, all of whom are U.S. citizens. "I haven't been allowed to visit because they ask for legal papers that I don't have," Martha says. The family maintains contact via infrequent, expensive telephone conversations.

Martha Sixtos: Wants her son to stay
John Gilhooley
Martha Sixtos: Wants her son to stay

Sixtos-Gomez's mother is a volunteer with Latino Health Access, so his ordeal made it to activist organization RAIZ, whose name translates into "root" in Spanish and is an acronym in the same language for "resistance, autonomy, equality and leadership." The youth group's online petition calls for his release and for elected officials to pressure ICE, including U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove), who wrote a letter asking ICE's LA Field Office to review the case.

In rallying around Sixtos-Gomez, as it has for other local deportees, RAIZ has argued the TRUST Act should have protected him from the clutches of ICE. And according to statements to the Weekly by an OCSD spokesman, the group is right. "We've acknowledged our error of detaining and releasing Mr. Sixtos-Gomez into the custody of ICE in violation of the TRUST Act on April 18," Lieutenant Jeff Hallock stated in a July 5 email. "Our action was based on review of information in his [local arrest record] that has been recently determined to be inaccurate."

For RAIZ, the news doesn't exactly come as a revelation. "We are not surprised they admitted to violating TRUST Act because we already knew," says Alexis Nava Teodoro, the group's deportation defense coordinator. "RAIZ will look into possible litigation regarding OCSD violating his civil rights. We have also approached the office of state Attorney General Kamala Harris to investigate the matter and take disciplinary action toward OCSD."

When the Weekly initially inquired about OCSD's compliance with the law in late May, Hallock insisted Sixtos-Gomez met the criteria for being transferred to ICE, explaining that fellow Lieutenant Mike McHenry had reviewed the case. Unfortunately, and despite the department's recent admission of error, there is little they can do at this point. "Once [a person] is in ICE's custody, we have no jurisdiction," Hallock says, adding that measures are being taken so that no similar mistake happens again. "We have immediately put in place a process that requires screening deputies to review, as well as compare, an inmate's [local arrest record] with court records, as well as other accessible databases, to confirm qualification under the TRUST Act."

Aside from OCSD's new policy, were Sixtos-Gomez arrested today, it would have been unlawful for the agency to remand him to ICE; an April ruling by a Oregon federal court has disallowed the holding of undocumented detainees beyond their release dates for ICE transfer. In Sixtos-Gomez's case, a judge had ordered him to be released on April 16, but OCSD kept him in custody for two more days so he could be picked up by immigration authorities.

In response to OCSD's new policy, a coalition of local immigrants' rights groups, including RAIZ, sent Sheriff Sandra Hutchens a letter in late June calling on an end to all collaboration with ICE. A week later, she replied with a letter stating, "While I sympathize with your concern about the separation of families, I must respectfully decline to honor your demand. I am simply trying to keep criminals who are convicted of serious crimes from re-victimizing our communities, businesses and schools."

But Sixtos-Gomez isn't a criminal convicted of a serious crime. And immigrants' rights activists say his case is just another example of the deep gulf of mistrust between OCSD and immigrant communities. "If OCSD turned over Samuel to ICE in violation of California law, then there are many more cases we don't know about where unnecessary separation of families could have been prevented," says RAIZ's Nava Teodoro. "OCSD is supposed to protect the local community. They have no business in federal immigration enforcement."

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150 comments
misspithychick
misspithychick

The native of the Mexican state of Guerrero had no other prior criminal record, although he had previously entered the United States illegally and had been deported several times. (re-entering the country illegally?) Is that a crime? 

Whackadoodle
Whackadoodle

Business  and regular folk should stop Hiring them.... Illegal means NO WORK DUH

Unfortunately  we as Americans only want the CHEAPEST thing we can.. Once you get rid of that mindset  it may happen  but we constantly want the lowest cost of everything. Immigrants Illegal or not  will come if there is a job. We do  need them  cause  our citizens wont do the work.

victorrya
victorrya

I'm wondering what is considered a low level offense under the trust act.  Does anyone know where to find this information?  I've been looking for some solid facts on what exactly are considered to be low level crimes and coming up empty handed. Are crimes like theft, identity fraud, and drunk driving considered low level under the Trust Act?  Most articles written on the topic are very vague on this.  Would an illegal immigrant only be held for deportation if they have been convicted of violent crimes?  

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

If more poor people embraced family planning, education and self-respect we wouldn't be having this problem.

Gentle_Fern
Gentle_Fern

Degenerate scumbags like Samuel Sixtos-Gomez aren't fit to lick the slime off Antonio Villaraigosa's shoes. We don't need or want human detritus like Samuel Sixtos-Gomez breathing our air, walking our streets or defecating in our neighborhoods. Flush him and his entire family down the deportation toilet. 

mexicaniqis50
mexicaniqis50

cmon, I know Obama doesn't care that the illegal Mexicans are stupid criminals, but dang, at least have them pass a fitness/beauty test before he lets these roaches sneak in... yuck

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

I don't think states can trump federal law.

pwzapster
pwzapster

Being deported and re-entering means he can be permanantly deported - right?  And will never get a visa or permission to be in US legally - sorry he f-ed up.

Factsmatter
Factsmatter

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I was amazed at the article titled ‘Breach of Trust’ in the last issue. If ever there was a case where someone should be deported here it is, and yet the Weekly acts as though a grave injustice has been done. A guy who has entered the country illegally and been busted and deported for it six times before is once again busted for being in the country illegally; he also has a warrant for driving without a license, clearly a crime. Yet his mother’s statement that “he is not a criminal” is repeated several times as though it were true. Facts matter in a newspaper article, don’t they?

The premise of the story is that somehow OCSD and ICE should have to follow the letter of the law absolutely, even when an ill conceived local law like the TRUST act contradicts what their agencies are tasked to do. However, individuals with a pattern of ignoring immigration and traffic codes are somehow being unfairly persecuted when they are punished for not following the law? This is nonsensical thinking and irresponsible, pandering, identity politics journalism at its worst.

If the letter of the law is so important, why should those who are here illegally not be deported? If this man is not a criminal why does he continue to commit crimes? If his mother is so concerned with her son’s welfare, why did she not encourage him to comply with the law for the sake of his daughter’s well being?

The article states that she communicated with the reporter of an English language newspaper in Spanish, suggesting she cannot speak English. But given the numbers quoted in the story, she has been in the US for at least 18 years if not longer. 18 years is an awfully long time not to bother assimilating even a little bit, no? If I moved to Mexico and insisted on speaking English after 18 years, would you think me a good neighbor?

Meanwhile, well meaning, but misguided groups like RAIZ are wasting time and resources fighting for these folks as though they are doing our country a service. In reality, they are compounding Mr. Sixtos-Gomez’ quest to waste US taxpayer’s money and time with his frivolous case.

Good riddance to the gentleman from Guerrero, he clearly does not deserve to live in the USA. And, since it is supposed to represent an American county, OC Weekly might want to occasionally think about the rights of American citizens to live crime free, no matter what their heritage, instead of advocating for those from abroad who thumb their nose at our laws while seeking their protection at the same time.

Many immigrant stories inspire admiration. This one inspires disgust.

JoeSmythe
JoeSmythe

It’s NEVER a mistake to deport ILLEGALS.


What is shocking is that ICE is actually doing it’s job. Now if we could just deport the murders, rapists, gang-bangers that we KNOW are ILLEGAL, we would be well on our way to ridding ourselves of this scourge.

Byzantine Templar
Byzantine Templar

Oh yeah see what happens when a concerned illegal mother is concerned about her legal children's education in this country,and decides to take on the local school district cartel.See how fast she/he will be deported.

Jorge Acosta
Jorge Acosta

Stop Hanging out with known Gang Members. You won't attract the wrong attention

argentator
argentator

Deport.  Deport immediately. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.

Rose Swanson
Rose Swanson

Same happened to me before the the trust act I did time in jail and fought all the way thru and now I have my papers thank you GOD nothing is impossible!!!!

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

All you cop-haters are reminiscent of the wife-beating/killing, child-beating/killing

slugs of society who have the mentality of a two-year old.  In a population of over 300 million, I guess we have to expect that some of them are going to be ugly people who do ugly things.  That's why we have cops…to provide moral and ethical guidance to those ignorant, lost souls whose parents never provided them with a compass.


I love it when the cops win.  They are the reason we are a civilized society.  Even the criminals and released felons I have met during my life have said the same thing. Without our cops we have anarchy and mutual self-destruction.


Godspeed to O. C. Sheriff's Dept.  Too bad so many of them have to spend so much of their valuable time baby siting so many toddlers under the age of 30. 


Jim Gilchrist, The Minuteman Project

Blunted Minds
Blunted Minds

Fucking pigs but oc pigs can eat a big fat dick

BBAIN
BBAIN

Adios Amigo!  Another Weekly article about a criminal, who's committed crimes other than being here illegally, who is now being deported.  Cry me a river baby!

Gentle_Fern
Gentle_Fern

Hopefully your stay in the United States will be short-lived and bereft of contentment. 

pwzapster
pwzapster

Rose I am glad you are legal.  However did you read that this Sixtos had been deported before and re-entered?  He is not some innocent.

JoeSmythe
JoeSmythe

You mean Thank Obama that an ILLEGAL ALIEN CRIMINAL like yourself was giving a free-ride.


Don’t get too comfy. The deportation train is warning up. 

JoeSmythe
JoeSmythe

@jimgilchrist

... reminiscent of the wife-beating/killing, 

> child-beating/killing slugs of society who have the mentality

> of a two-year old


the shorthand for that is “progressives."

JoeSmythe
JoeSmythe

There you go folks, a product of dope and Union run public education.

Gentle_Fern
Gentle_Fern

The shame belongs to the swine who failed to raise him to a productive member of Mexican society. 

JoeSmythe
JoeSmythe

The ONLY shame is that it’s not happing TO EVERY ILLEGAL.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

Hey Frank, is that the best English you can come up with?

JoeSmythe
JoeSmythe

Hey don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way back to your crappy 3d world country.

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

@BBAIN I wonder what happened to that kid that was caught vandalizing and wrestled to the ground by that SA school cop?

BBAIN
BBAIN

@gregbpc @BBAIN Probably in juvie, on the fast track to Pelican Bay.  It's a shame too, he'd have made a good gardener I bet.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@gregbpc @BBAIN 

And a few days later a kid brought a GUN to school with him...but that flew under the radar because he wasn't latino.

BBAIN
BBAIN

@fishwithoutbicycle @gregbpc @BBAIN ? I don't understand the relevance here... lots of kids bring guns to school - doesn't bother me.  You must make bank to be able to comment on here all day long, every day.  Congrats to you and all of your career success - whatever your field may be.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@gregbpc 

No...but there were very few comments about it...and none of them included rants about how we should deport his parents.

JoeSmythe
JoeSmythe

@BBAIN @fishwithoutbicycle @gregbpc guess BBAIN is jealous that he can’t get a job, NOR an Obama-phone or Obama-check.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@BBAIN 

Nah...we're having a really slow month at work. I'm not rich...at least not in the financial sense. :-)

So you're ok with a kid bringing a gun to school, huh? smh

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle @BBAIN


Wow, so you cheat your employer by wasting your time on their dime.  Do they know?  

And do they know you excrete progressive bullshit on their dime?  


You should be ashamed.  But of course you aren't.  Liberals believe they can lie, cheat and steal and rationalize that it is okay because their version of the "truth" will save the world.    

BBAIN
BBAIN

@fishwithoutbicycle @BBAIN Plenty of white kids are in the news for making trouble.  Just depends on the region of the USA.  I'd never imply that Mexican kids are the only ones who make trouble.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@gregbpc @fishwithoutbicycle 

He was a middle-school age kid. He didn't threaten anyone as I recall...but the kid tagging the bench didn't threaten anyone either. I don't know the immigration status of the parents of the child with the gun but the point is no one cared because they weren't latino.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@fishingblues 

LMFAO!

I was wondering when you were going to chime in. Wow, you must really have the hots for me.

And I still don't give a flying fig what you think about me. Good day.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@BBAIN @fishwithoutbicycle 

I didn't say you, personally, implied that. Sorry you viewed it that way. But I will point out that the kid who brought the gun to school was asian...because you keep assuming it's a white kid.

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle @gregbpc No, nobody cared because there wasn't any actual damage.  For some people, the mere fact of having a gun isn't scary.  I don't know, maybe he just brought it to school because he thought it was cool, and had no criminal intent (not that kids should be bringing guns to school).

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

PS If you don't like reading so-called "progressive bullshit" then why the hell do you visit the OC Weekly website? Duh.

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@gregbpc @fishwithoutbicycle 

A gun can cause a lot more damage than a spray can...

But I thank you for your input. I appreciate having a civil dialogue with someone who has a viewpoint that differs from mine...

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle Because you guys need information, since MSNBC and other news outlets don't tell the whole story, since they are carrying Obama's water for him.

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle @gregbpc It CAN, but it didn't. The tagger did actual damage, and i believe also had marijuana on him, if I am remembering correctly (could be wrong about the pot part).

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@gregbpc @fishwithoutbicycle 

I'm not in love with Obama. Try again. And what vital information is fishingblues providing, exactly? Most of the comments he makes are about what idiots liberals are and how I personally am a failure as a human being. I don't know why he has such a boner for taking shots at me...but is that constructive in your opinion?

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@gregbpc @fishwithoutbicycle


MSNBC and Fox and CNN, etc. are not news outlets.  They are full of opinion programming playing to their respective bases.  


But, you are correct, loopy loony liberals certainly need factual information.  Unfortunately, I don't believe they possess the capacity to absorb it.


If it isn't  "progressive" they reject it outright.    

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

@gregbpc @fishwithoutbicycle 

Well of course it's not good for a kid...neither is smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. I'm not advocating illicit drug use for minors, but to demonize a kid for having weed and a spray can while the kid with the gun gets a pass doesn't seem right to me.

 
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