While President Donald Trump’s Administration has taken a hardline stance against illegal immigration, the state of California has passed laws that make it difficult for federal immigration agents to find and arrest undocumented immigrants within the state.
One such law is the California Values Act (Senate Bill 54), which took effect this year. This “sanctuary state” law limits how local law enforcement agencies can cooperate with federal immigration officials.
However, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has found a loophole in the law in an effort to provide assistance to ICE.
Finding a Loophole in Sanctuary State Laws
SB 54 amended Government Code 7282 and took effect on January 1, 2018. The law prevents local law enforcement agencies from providing ICE with the date that people who were arrested will be released from custody unless that information is made available to the public.
The goal of the law was to prevent federal immigration agents from being able to detain undocumented immigrants who were not convicted of a crime. However, the Orange County Sherriff’s Department has found a way to cooperate with ICE agents without technically violating sanctuary state laws.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department announced it will make inmate release dates publicly available through the existing “Who’s in Jail” online database. According to the OC Sheriff’s Department, this will “enhance communication between the Sheriff’s Department and our law enforcement partners to remove dangerous offenders from our community.”
This database already exists, but it will now include the release date for each person listed, which means ICE agents will know the location of undocumented immigrants on the date they are released from custody.
What Does This Mean for Undocumented Immigrants?
Orange County Sheriff Coroner Sandra Hutchens says that this move will prevent potentially dangerous criminals from falling through the cracks and being released back into the community. This decision was made for the safety of the public community.
However, what the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s new policy means for you is that you face the very real threat of being detained by ICE agents if you are an undocumented immigrant arrested on suspicion of a crime. It does not matter if you are convicted of the crime; once you are released from custody, ICE agents could be waiting to arrest you.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are an undocumented immigrant and you are arrested, you face severe consequences. You could be a target of ICE agents for removal from the country. That is why you should hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can protect your rights.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers have been successfully defending clients accused of crimes for more than 35 years. Let our law firm help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Call our office today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.