Immigration Holds Over For Sheriff's Department

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Immigration holds are now a thing of the past for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

    Sheriff Bill Gore announced Thursday that the department would no longer hold someone past their release date based on an ICE detainer alone.

    The move makes San Diego County the largest county in the country to refuse detainer request.

    Immigration holds allow federal officials to request suspected undocumented immigrants be held for a maximum of 48 hours past their jail release dates.

    In a statement, Gore said, "In cases where ICE has an immigration interest in one of our inmates and no ICE arrest warrant has been presented, we will continue our practice of notifying ICE of the date, time and location of our inmates' release."

    “This is a huge policy reversal and a major victory for our communities, one that advocates have been working on for years,” said Homayra Yusufi-Marin, policy advocate for the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties.

    “We applaud Sheriff Gore’s action recognizing the important values of due process and equality under the laws that are foundational to our justice system. This is another step on the path to reform our broken immigration system and promote trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement.”

    The ACLU says the policy reversal is attributed to a recent federal court decision, which held that a local jail had violated the Fourth Amendment by granting the detainer request without probable cause or a court-approved warrant.

    “This is a very important decision by the Sheriff’s Department. I think that legally, it’s a sound decision because fundamentally it is taking a constitutional stance on an issue that has now been deemed unconstitutional,” said Pedro Rios, Director of the American Friends Services Committee.

    Not everyone agrees with the move.

    One political pundit says the “catch and release” practice of undocumented immigrants is a major problem.

    “ It’s the revolving door policy coming from the Obama administration, tying the hands of local law enforcement agencies and it’s all based because of political pressure,” said Political Pundit Rhonda Deniston.

    She says the “catch and release” programs usually led to offenders committing more crimes on a felony level. Deniston also believes this move means there will be even less immigration enforcement.

    "We do not owe anybody anything. If you come into this country illegally, you have broken the law. If you don't like the law, change the law. But until the law is changed we need to abide by it because we are a society of laws.”