SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — San Jose Police are blasting the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors over its decision to uphold its sanctuary policy.
The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to uphold its policy to not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on detainer requests.
“If we have custody of a violent gang member, there should be a call,” said Police Officers Association President Paul Kelly. “They’re, I think, deaf to solving the problem, because they are playing politics.”
Kelly said he and fellow officers were outraged and frustrated when Santa Clara County Supervisors upheld a policy to not proactively help ICE by detaining suspected undocumented immigrants with violent histories when they are released from jail.
Supervisors said that to call ICE or detain someone when they are released from jail would violate California law and the U.S. Constitution.
“There is no practical or legal way for us to know if someone in our custody is truly undocumented,” said Supervisor Mike Wasserman.
Supervisor Susan Ellenberg said ICE already has access to the information they are seeking.
“We’re simply not adding any uneccesary cooperation when ICE already has all the tools and all the information they need to do their work,” she said.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia and Mayor Sam Liccardo called on supervisors to revise the policy after the murder of Bambi Larson, allegedly at the hands of Carlos Arevalo Carranza, an undocumented immigrant with a history of felonies and illegal border crossings.
“This certainly does not make us more safe, or I would not be advocating for a change to begin with,” Garcia said.
Garcia said other counties such as Monterey and San Mateo provide a safe space for the transfer of inmates from the jail to federal custody.
“I can’t control what the supervisors do, I can control what these police officers do and that’s that they will continue to risk their lives for this community and keep taking the criminal element off the street,” Garcia said.
Garcia said that later this summer the chiefs of police of the major U.S. cities will be meeting with the Department of Homeland Security officials to see what more can be done on the Federal level to keep track of and deport undocumented immigrants who commit violent crimes.