SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Santa Clara County will not be providing any special cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials when potential illegal immigrants are about to leave county jail, even in the cases of violent offenders.
The Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted 5-0 to uphold their existing policy of non-cooperation with ICE.
“I feel really good about it,” said Nicholas Hurley, an immigrant rights supporter. “ICE is an illegitimate organization that does nothing other than rip families apart.”
More than a hundred immigrants rights supporters rallied outside the Board of Supervisors meeting, gearing up for a fight. But the battle never materialized.
Supervisor Mike Wasserman had asked the county to review its policy of not working with with ICE following the murder of Bambi Larson in San Jose in February, allegedly at the hands of an undocumented immigrant.
But he had a different view today.
“There is no practical and legal way of knowing if a person in our custody is truly undocumented. And for that reason, I withdraw my second suggestion of notifying ICE.”
The board accepted a report from the County Counsel, that said it would be against state law to specifically notify ICE when suspected undocumented immigrants, who have served time for violent offenses, leave county jail; and against federal law to detain them beyond their release date.
The policy will streamline inmate release information to law enforcement agencies and the public.
“The access to release information, the timing of releases of people who are going to head out on the streets is going to be very accessible. What won’t change is that this county is not going to proactively go out and do ICE’S work for them,” said Supervisor Dave Cortese.
The decision comes as a disappointment to San Jose’s police chief and mayor who, after the murder of Bambi Larson, criticized the county.
Larson was allegedly murdered by 24-year-old Carlos Arevalo Carranza, an undocumented immigrant with several previous misdemeanors and felony convictions.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen came to the meeting to ask supervisors for limited cooperation with ICE, but was denied.
“We don’t tell ICE the time and location of when someone is going to be released, nor do we provide a safe location for the transfer to happen as many other counties do, including Alameda, Monterey, San Mateo and many counties in our state,” Rosen said.