MARTINEZ (KPIX) — The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department is cutting ties with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and cutting up its multi-million dollar federal contract.
The decision will impact dozens of detainees currently housed in Richmond.
“To be clear the Sheriff’s Office does not do immigration enforcement,” said Sheriff David Livingston. “In fact, our policy prohibits it.”
Livingston has taken a hard stance, essentially saying no to ICE by cancelling the county’s contract with the agency.
That means 169 detainees currently housed in Richmond’s West County Detention facility could essentially be transported anywhere in the country, or be released back into the Bay Area, depending on the circumstance. It’s up to ICE to decide over the next 120 days.
“Ending the contract is critical in building the trust,” says Supervisor John Gioia.
The Contra Costa County lawmaker has publicly opposed the ICE contact saying it was harmful to families and eroded trust with immigrant families.
The county says the decision to end its ICE contract was based on public pressure and future economics. But there is another side to the issue: Lost revenue.
“I am sorry we are losing this contract,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff.
Currently the ICE contract brings in almost $3 million in revenue. Now the county will have to tap into its reserve funds for the fiscal year.
“It is the CoCo taxpayer who will have to fill that hole as we move forward. We are going to have to find a way to deal with that,” said Supervisor Mitchoff.