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San Diego County Sheriff Puts End to Local 'Immigration Holds'

The decision ends the local agency's compliance with ICE "detainer requests," which seek to keep suspected undocumented immigrants in local detention for several additional days.

Sheriff William Gore. Photo Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department
Sheriff William Gore. Photo Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department

County detention centers in the San Diego area no longer will take part in the practice of holding inmates past their jail release dates to allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to take custody of them, Sheriff Bill Gore announced today.

The decision ends the local agency's compliance with ICE "detainer requests," which seek to keep suspected undocumented immigrants in local detention for several additional days.

"The sheriff's department will detain someone past their local release date if presented with an arrest warrant based on a probable-cause finding by ICE," 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."

Gore gave no reason for the policy change, but the American Civil Liberties Union attributed it to a recent federal court decision holding that a local jail had violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by granting an immigration hold without probable cause or a court-approved warrant.

"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 law that are foundational to our justice system."

Gore's decision made the San Diego area the largest county in the nation to stop complying with detainer requests from the federal immigration agency, according to the ACLU.

Sacramento County also announced today that it would discontinue honoring the petitions. Other California regions to do the same include Alameda, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Bernardino, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Riverside counties.

Nationally, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Denver and a number of counties in Oregon have made the same decision. A coalition of immigrant and human-rights organizations coordinated requests to sheriffs across the Western United States, urging them to stop detaining people at ICE's request to avoid damage liability.

Immigration holds allow federal officials to request that local jails hold suspected undocumented immigrants for a maximum of 48 hours past their jail release dates, excluding weekends and holidays.

—City News Service

What do you think of this decision? Tell us in the comment section below.

James Jones May 31, 2014 at 11:53 AM
Dr Greene you are welcome to your views, but we who pay the bills in this country are tired of paying the way for these freeloaders that no more follow the laws of this country than the man in the moon. You and Bill Gore can step up and pay for this Crap. The border needs to be closed and guarded as DMZ one road and it needs to be outbound Gore and the rest of you can lead the way SOUTH.
Jim Nutting May 31, 2014 at 01:34 PM
I do not support illegal immigration. If someone is in County jail and released after serving their time for committing a crime, they should be released. If they are illegal aliens, they should be immediately turned over to the feds. The sheriff cannot just assume they are illegal aliens. They need to have proof. If they are, they should hold them for the feds. The sheriff swore an oath. The feds should snap to it and get one of their over-paid agents to the county jail before the inmate/illegal alien is released. It costs the county money to keep the border trespasser. If ICE is whining about being short-handed, close down those stupid checkpoints north of our borders and assign them to pick up the detainees. Why do we have to pick up the tab? This is our tax money. It would be a Damn shame to release these criminal trespassers knowing they don't belong here. ICE, get on the ball and take responsibility!
Donald Snyder May 31, 2014 at 03:16 PM
Dr. Greene, it's not about Mexicans at all. They just happen to be the most amount of people that cross the border illegally since they are the closest and don't give a damn about our laws. I work at a company that I get customers all day long. I have Chinese women who all they know how to say is 'EBT'. They don't and don't want to learn our language. If you are going to sneak into a country, why then do you want to change that country to be like your own that you left? That is a question no one seems to answer. If you country is so screwed up that you have to break into another country illegally, put up with all the things that new country does to you, why would you want to change it to fit your old country? That is what the Mexicans that come here try and do. They don't want to assimilate anything this country does. They don't want to obey our laws, they don't want to work they don't want to learn the language and they want as much free stuff as they can grab. Martin Luther King might have said that, but by saying that did he mean legally? No one knows for sure. He was fighting for justice for his people, not some people who had snuck in the country illegally. You can choose to give your 1% all you want. I am tired of my country asking me for more and more money and throwing it all away on other countries people. I believe the bible said "Charity starts at home". It's time that America heeds those words. Fix our country first, then worry about the rest or we won't have a country to fix.
Dr. Lorri Greene May 31, 2014 at 04:06 PM
Mr. Snyder. I agree with a lot of what you are saying. We do need to fix things wrong in our country, or we won't have a country to fix. I get that and I agree. I had the great opportunity to march with Martin Luther King, but to be honest, I am not sure if anyone asked him about illegal or legal, as he was fighting for mostly for civil rights, especially for African Americans. So it is a fair question, and one I never asked him. I cannot help but wonder if ALL of anyone that comes here illegally wants to stay separate, not learn the language, etc., but I can't prove that either. I know we have a housekeeper that we sponsored to get legal, and she speaks great English. We also have a gardener who also speaks great English. He is also legal, and gardens almost everyones home on our street. Both are from Mexico. How do you, or how does anyone know, how many of the people you are speaking of don't want to work, want to have it just like where they came from, etc? I don't know that, but perhaps you do. I understand your fatigue about our country asking for more and more taxes. I wonder what would happen if we brought half of our military home from all over the world and gave them jobs fixing our roads, infrastructure, and other things that this country desperately needs? I just got back from a 3 week trip to Italy. They have high sped rail, and the infrastructure seemed great. Of course, I was a tourist, so perhaps I didn't see the "underbelly" of the country. In a country, as wealthy as we are, I think there are some basic things we can provide. Those would be food, basic healthcare for all, some kind of shelter, clothing, and if one wants to work, a job. I have several patients right now, born in the US and happen to be Anglo who are unemployed and cannot find work. They are what used to be called middle-management, and are in their 50's. So there is a lot to talk about, that's for sure. We probably agree on more things than we disagree upon. I just cannot help but think that human beings, no matter where they are born, deserve to live free, be able to feed themselves and their families and at least have basic healthcare and some kind of roof over their heads. If that makes me what used to be called a "commie" I guess I am. If you would ever like talk more about this, I am always open to new ideas.
Donald Snyder May 31, 2014 at 06:04 PM
My biggest problem with the illegals coming here is we don't have enough resources to keep our own citizens working, housed, properly employed and the Mexican government allows their lowest citizens (they made a pamphlet about how to come into this country illegally and assimilate) to immigrate to this country. They want their lowest out of their country. We, for some reason, accept that. Mexico was taken over by Spain and it's still, for the most part, run by the Spanish who came over there. These Mexican/Indians, are their trash. They don't want them. 11 million of ANYTHING is going to change the way things get done. We can't deport all of them, and it's stupid to make their children citizens just because their parents avoided capture until they were born. It's time to take care of our own country. I feel bad for other countries, but not everyone and not every country can be the Alpha Male. We happen to be lucky enough to be born in the United States. That was my privilege and right when I was born. There is no way in hell that I want to change that on purpose. I feel for them, but I don't want to trade places with them. We, as a nation, kicked out our aggressors when they asked too much of us. That was over 200 years ago. It's time the citizens of Mexico, Guatemala, and other countries who don't like their government rise up and change it like we were forced to do. I will NOT apologize for have the privilege of living in the greatest country in the world because I have helped her maintain that status by being a good citizen. I only wish our Congress and President felt the same way.

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