A sheriff’s office in California announced it will publicly publish the scheduled release dates for inmates in the latest pushback against the state’s controversial “sanctuary” law.
Local and state agencies may not be allowed to communicate the release date for illegal immigrants to federal immigration authorities, under the sanctuary law, known as the California Values Act.
The Orange County sheriff said the change in protocol is an effort to notify federal authorities.
“This is in response to SB-54 limiting our ability to communicate with federal authorities and our concern that criminals are being released to the street when there’s another avenue to safeguard the community by handing them over (to ICE for potential deportation),” Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes told the Orange County Register.
Barnes said the ICE, or federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was not consulted before the change. The release dates are available for anyone to view on the sheriff’s website.
A few cities in Orange County are considering moves that could be seen as opposition to the recently passed law.
Los Alamitos, the second smallest city in the county, recently voted to exempt itself from California’s sanctuary law, reported The Register.
“As the mayor of Los Alamitos, we are not a sanctuary city,” said Mayor Troy Edgar.
The state’s controversial law has affected immigration operations, including one in February when Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf issued a warning to illegal immigrants that ICE officials were planning a raid in the city.
ICE's acting chief claims that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s warning about impending raids in the Bay Area allowed 3 undocumented immigrants to commit new crimes. https://t.co/EbvaWzm0i7
— ABC7 News (@abc7newsbayarea) March 22, 2018
“I know that Oakland is a city of law-abiding immigrants and families who deserve to live free from the constant threat of arrest and deportation,” Schaaf said at the time. “I believe it is my duty and moral obligation as mayor to give those families fair warning when that threat appears imminent.”
ICE conducted a raid a few days later and captured over 200 illegal immigrants, the bulk of whom had been either convicted criminals and/or previously deported.
ICE officials said the warning enabled hundreds more, including serious criminals, to evade capture. A representative for the department told Fox News that one Mexican citizen who managed to evade capture was convicted for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and a DUI and had been deported in 2003.
What she did is no better than a gang lookout yelling “Police” when a police cruiser comes in the neighborhood, except she did it to an entire community. This is beyond the pale,” ICE Director Tom Homan said. “This is a whole new low, to intentionally warn criminals that law enforcement is coming.”
I do not regret sharing this information. It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws. We believe our community is safer when families stay together. pic.twitter.com/ng13yq431L
— Libby Schaaf (@LibbySchaaf) February 28, 2018
Officials said some of the illegal immigrants committed new crimes after they evaded immigration agents.
Schaaf, though, doubled down on her comments after receiving criticism.
“I do not regret sharing this information,” she said. “It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws. We believe our community is safer when families stay together.”