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Thread: CA. Orange County sheriff asking to expand illegal alien detention contract

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    CA. Orange County sheriff asking to expand illegal alien detention contract

    Orange County sheriff asking to expand undocumented-immigrant detention contract

    By JORDAN GRAHAM | jgraham@scng.com | Orange County Register
    May 4, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    The Orange County Sheriff’s Department wants to increase the number of federal immigration detainees that are held in county jails and will ask the Board of Supervisors next week for permission to do so by expanding its contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    The new agreement would allow the county to hold up to 120 additional undocumented immigrants, recouping 60 percent of the local capacity lost when ICE ended its contract with Santa Ana city jails earlier this year. It also could bring the county an extra $5 million annually.


    The county’s current jail contract with the federal agency, which began in 2010, sets aside space for 838 ICE detainees and earned the county $31 million last fiscal year – $25 million for the sheriff’s department and $6 million for the OC Health Care Agency.


    The department’s request comes as President Donald Trump and his administration have attempted to increase deportation of undocumented immigrants and strengthen partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to help do so.


    Undocumented immigrants who are jailed as ICE detainees don’t have criminal charges pending against them but often have previously been convicted of a crime and served that sentence. Trump also has expanded the scope of undocumented immigrants targeted for deportation, including those who have been only charged with a crime.


    The request also comes at a time when the state legislature is considering a bill that would prohibit jails in California from housing ICE detainees. That bill passed the state senate last month. If it becomes law, the sheriff’s department could lose millions of dollars in ICE contract revenue.


    Sheriff’s department spokesman Lt. Lane Lagaret said ICE approached the department about expanding its footprint in county jails. He said the deal would “allow us to maximize revenue for the county without adding additional costs to our operation.” The additional detainees would be housed in the Theo Lacy Facility, which is below capacity.


    ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said the agency’s decision to cancel its Santa Ana jail contract in February reduced its capacity to keep detainees in Orange County and that it was a goal of the agency to house detainees within the same area where they were arrested.


    ICE ended its jail contract with Santa Ana only three months after the city council voted in December to become a sanctuary city, announcing that it planned to reduce the number of detainees in its jails and eventually phase out its agreement with the agency.


    Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, on the other hand, has aligned her department more closely with federal immigration authorities.


    Hutchens has been clear that her deputies will not enforce immigration laws in neighborhoods or arrest people based on their immigration status.


    But the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is the only local law enforcement agency in the state to have a deal that allows sheriff’s deputies to act as ICE agents in its jails, giving them the ability to question people they suspect might be undocumented immigrants in order to determine their legal status. That information helps ICE identify undocumented immigrants who aren’t in federal databases so they can be targeted for deportation.


    In February, Hutchens spoke with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on a conference call and asked him to provide a legal directive to allow her to detain some immigrants convicted of violent or other serious crimes beyond their set release dates so federal agents could retrieve and deport them. Hutchens, who was speaking to Sessions in her role as president of the Major Counties Sheriff’s Association, said she thinks holding some undocumented immigrants beyond their release dates could keep criminals from being released to local neighborhoods.


    The practice of detaining undocumented immigrants beyond their release date is significantly restricted under California law and federal courts have found it to be in violation of the Fourth Amendment. However, once those undocumented immigrants are released from their criminal sentences served in county jail, they can be picked up by federal agents and held once again in local jails as ICE detainees.

    http://www.ocregister.com/2017/05/04/orange-county-sheriff-asking-to-expand-undocumented-immigrant-detention-contract

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, on the other hand, has aligned her department more closely with federal immigration authorities.

    Hutchens has been clear that her deputies will not enforce immigration laws in neighborhoods or arrest people based on their immigration status.

    But the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is the only local law enforcement agency in the state to have a deal that allows sheriff’s deputies to act as ICE agents in its jails, giving them the ability to question people they suspect might be undocumented immigrants in order to determine their legal status. That information helps ICE identify undocumented immigrants who aren’t in federal databases so they can be targeted for deportation.
    Thank you Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, thank you very very much.
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