San Mateo Co. Schedules Vote on Whether to Release Murderers, Rapists, and Child Predators Rather than Transfer them to ICE

April 23, 2023

FAIR Staff

FAIR Take | April 2023

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors is currently debating an ordinance that would release convicted murderers, rapists, and child predators rather than transfer them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation.

San Mateo County, California, located just south of San Francisco, is home to approximately 730,000 people.

Under the draft ordinance introduced nearly two weeks ago, county employees, officers, agents and representatives would be prohibited from using County resources, property, personnel, time, labor, or funds to communicate or work with ICE regarding the upcoming release of a criminal alien, regardless of the crime.

The Board of Supervisors agreed to introduce the legislation on a 4-1 vote. According to ABC 7 news, the only brave supervisor to vote against its introduction was Sup. Mueller, who represents a large portion of the county’s agricultural community. ”I’m concerned about it, that’s why I’ve taken a stand,” said Sup. Mueller. “When a person, a convicted rapist, child molester, or murderer is released from prison, we will have no ability to work with ICE in order to deport that individual.”

Sup. Canepa, the author of the ordinance, said he supported the sanctuary policy despite the fact that it would release all offenders. “Transfers to ICE result in double punishment for immigrants,” he said. When specifically asked why he did not support an exception for convicted murderers, rapists, or child molesters, Sup. Canepa stated: “The answer to that is, we took it on its totality…. We heard from families… there [sic] are people that have served their time. They should be released.” He added, “Whether it’s child molestation, I do believe there’s a higher power. I do believe they have the ability to make amends and not commit future crimes.”

While Sup. Mueller still supports the idea of a sanctuary ordinance, he plans to propose an amendment that would allow County personnel to assist with immigration enforcement when the individual subject to immigration enforcement has been convicted of murder, rape, or child molestation.

The Board of Supervisors is expected to take up the ordinance again April 25, at which time the Board may debate the amendment or pass the ordinance into law.