SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, whose leadership opposes the new California sanctuary law that limits cooperation with federal immigration officials, says it is now providing public information on when inmates are released from custody.
As of Monday, March 26, an existing “Who’s in Jail” online database includes the date and time of inmates’ release — a move agency officials say will enhance communication with its law enforcement partners, the Orange County Register reported.
The release date information applies to all inmates, not just those who are suspected of being in the country illegally. But the goal is to assist agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
“This is in response to SB-54 limiting our ability to communicate with federal authorities and our concern that criminals are being released to the street when there’s another avenue to safeguard the community by handing them over (to ICE for potential deportation),” said Orange County Undersheriff Don Barnes, according to the Register.
The council for the O.C. city of Los Alamitos voted last week to opt out of the sanctuary state status.
Last October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 54, the sanctuary state legislation that extends protections for immigrants living in the United States illegally.
The bill took effect Jan. 1. Under it, police are barred from asking people about their immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement activities. Jail officials are only allowed to transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities if they have been convicted of certain crimes.
When President Trump visited San Diego earlier this month to look at border wall prototypes, he was critical of Brown.
“I think Gov. Brown has done a very poor job running California,” Trump said. “They have the highest taxes in the United States. The place is totally out of control. You have sanctuary cities where you have criminals living in the sanctuary cities. And then the mayor of Oakland goes out and notifies when ICE is going in to pick them up.”
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