SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — Since California became a sanctuary state in 2017, the number of inmates with immigration detainers being arrested again after being released from jail has jumped, according to a new report from Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes.
SB 54 restricts most notifications to ICE upon an inmate’s release to the most seriously violent offenders. It became law in 2017 despite heavy opposition from the state’s law enforcement community.
“SB 54 has made our community less safe. The law has resulted in new crimes because my deputies were unable to communicate with their federal partners about individuals who committed serious offenses and present a threat to our community if released,” Barnes said in a statement. “The two-year social science experiment with sanctuary laws must end.”
According to Barnes, more than 1,500 inmates released in 2019 had ICE detainers, a request from the federal agency for notification that a particular inmate has been released. Of those inmates, 238 were re-arrested in Orange County for new crimes, including assault and battery, rape, and robbery.
The report notes that the numbers do not include anyone who may have committed crimes in Orange County, then were released to commit a crime in another county.
The rate of recidivism for those with ICE detainers is up from 2018, when 123 were arrested again for new crimes, out of more than 1,800 such inmates, according to the report.