California has led the national trend of local community members demanding the stop of deportations and separation of families caused by Immigration Customs Enforcement (I.C.E). Through the implementation of the VALUES Act, the state became the first to place limits on how I.C.E can collaborate with Local Law Enforcement in order to gain access to members of our community. The TRUTH Act, passed the year prior in 2017, requires California Counties who collaborate with I.C.E. to hold public hearings for transparency and accountability on how their Sheriff Departments work with Federal Immigration Officials, and comply with the new state laws. This is the second year that the County Sheriff’s comment publicly on how they collaborate with I.C.E.
Despite the work of immigrant rights advocates across California to pass the sanctuary state bill SB 54 in 2017, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties’ sheriffs have continued to push the limits of entanglement with federal immigration authorities. For example, instead of providing ICE direct access to information about immigrants in sheriff custody, the sheriff’s office is now posting that release date publicly online so ICE knows when to be ready and waiting outside the building.
As the new Santa Barbara County jail opens in Santa Maria later this year, it will be just down the road from the ICE facility that thousands of community member protested to stop from being built just five years ago. This could open up a new chapter in ICE’s access to our local law enforcement resources, allowing federal agents to much more easily pick people up to separate families in our community.
Some of our sister counties in the Central Coast like Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo do not allow any collaboration between their sheriff’s departments and ICE. We will be pushing to hold our communities to the same standard.
Central Coast Immigrant Rights Coalition (www.805immigrant.org)
Santa Barbara Immigrant Legal Defense Center
Tuesday, October 4th, 2019
Santa Barbara & Santa Maria – 9 am
Santa Barbara (Remotely)
Forum: Government Office – 105 E. Anapamu St. #406, Santa Barbara
Santa Maria ( In person)
Forum: Government Office – 511 Lakeside Pkwy, Santa Maria