Orange County DREAMers Call on Sheriff to Cut Ties with Federal Immigration Agents: Update

See the update on Page 3 with local immigration activists from various groups calling on the Orange County sheriff to cut all ties with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Soon to be less crowded.
Soon to be less crowded.
Photo by Flickr user Kevin

ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 5, 7:33 A.M.: After a federal court decision in Oregon, every county that surrounds Orange County immediately halted honoring requests from federal immigration agents to hold potentially deportable inmates past the length of their jail terms. But the Orange County Sheriff's Department seemed to be a holdout.

Until now.

Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Jeff Hallock sent a statement to the media late Wednesday afternoon that essentially says, in light of the court decision, Orange County also will not hold inmates on immigration holds beyond the end date of their sentences.

"I want to be respectful of the most recent federal court case decision while simultaneously being sensitive to public safety concerns of Orange County residents," says Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in the statement.

"I am actively working towards a solution and modification to the policy that addresses the concerns of our stakeholders," Hutches added.

Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and about a dozen other counties had previously ended the holds, no doubt spooked by a letter the ACLU sent to every sheriff in California warning they had better stop the immigration holds or else face the legal consequences. That advice was also passed along by the California State Sheriffs' Association.

This is driving the anti-immigrant crowd nuts, and they have issued a warning of their own: violent illegal aliens are coming to your street.

Some at least acknowledge that counties are legitimately worried about getting sued if they continue to thumb their nose at Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County, which concluded that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer, without a determination of probable cause, is not legally sufficient to hold an inmate beyond his or her sentence ending date.

The statement Hallock distributed follows on the next page ...
 

The Orange County Sheriff's Department is reviewing its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer policy in light of an Oregon federal district court's decision, Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County, 2014 WL 1414305 (D. Ore. April 11, 2014), which concluded that an ICE detainer, without a determination of probable cause, is not legally sufficient to hold an inmate beyond his or her sentence ending date.

Effective immediately, the Sheriff's Department will no longer hold pre-sentenced inmates on ICE detainers beyond any release date/time, and these inmates will be processed according to department policy. During the release process, ICE will be contacted and advised of such inmates with detainers. ICE may take custody of the inmate(s) so long as it occurs during the release process and does not require additional detention of the inmate.

The Sheriff's Department will continue to honor ICE detainers for sentenced inmates, provided the requirements of the Trust Act are met, while we review the federal court decision and our ICE detainer policy. We are in the process of evaluating solutions and modifications to our ICE detainer policy that are consistent with the law and least impacts public safety. "I want to be respectful of the most recent federal court case decision while simultaneously being sensitive to public safety concerns of Orange County residents. I am actively working towards a solution and modification to the policy that addresses the concerns of our stakeholders," stated Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

Immediately following our review process, the Sheriff's Department will release details of any updates or modifications to the existing ICE detainer policy.


 
UPDATE, JUNE 27, 6:30 A.M.: Calling the Orange County Sheriff's Department policy to end prolonged immigration holds something of a sham, local immigration activists are asking that the agency cut all contact with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Representatives from various groups, including the Orange County DREAM Team, claim that when releasing those held on immigration holds, the sheriff's jailers contact ICE agents to inform them undocumented people are about to be set free. A letter stating this to Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens is signed by members of Orange County Dream Team, CoMMun-Collectivo de Mujeres Migrantes Unidas, DeColores Queer Orange County, Dreams at UCI, Resistencia, Autonomia, Igualdad, y lideraZgo (RAIZ) and We Are San Juan.

The letter follows ...

June 25, 2014

OC Sheriff Sandra Hutchens 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd. Santa Ana, CA 92701

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens:

In light of the recently announced disappointing expansion in policy held by the Orange County Sheriff's Department to end all immigration ICE holds, we demand the Orange County Sheriff Department permanently end all communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, free of any loopholes such as those in the recently expanded policy.

Although, the Orange County Sheriff's Department claims they will no longer honor immigration holds as they have been found unconstitutional by court law, the OC Sheriff's department continues to notify ICE agents of suspected undocumented detainees prior to their release. In essence, the collaboration between the OC Sheriff's Department and ICE has not changed. The undocumented community is still targeted for deportation proceedings, and our families are still being separated.

The organizations listed below have long maintained that the immigration detainers, and all other forms of local law enforcement collaboration with ICE undermine public trust and public safety. We have long maintained that these forms of immigration enforcement are inhumane, and have exacerbated the current mass deportation-centered human rights crisis in the US.

We therefore demand that going forward the Orange County Sheriff Department immediately stop all collaboration with ICE. This includes, but not limited to, immediately ending the following collaborations within all facilities: the 287(g) agreements with ICE, the Criminal Alien Program, and all Inter-Governmental Service Agreements (IGSA) also known as "ICE contracts". Ultimately, this demand includes the ceasing of all contact with ICE when releasing detainees from jail. We expect a response by Wednesday, July 2, 2014.

In unity,

Karen Huerta CoMMUn- Collectivo de Mujeres Migrantes Unidas

Ana Karen Rosal We Are San Juan

Alexis Nava Teodoro Resistencia, Autonomia, Igualdad, y lideraZgo (RAIZ)

Dulce Saavedra Orange County DREAM Team

Steve Zamarripa DeColores Queer Orange County

Sarai Herrera Dreams at UCI

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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