State Attorney General Kamala Harris waded into the immigration debate, telling local law enforcement Tuesday that they have the power to ignore Obama administration requests that they hold illegal immigrants. By issuing a bulletin to local police and sheriffs, Harris is challenging President Barack Obama, her friend and ally. She campaigned for him four years ago and again this year, and he campaigned for her when she won election in 2010. Harris also is a savvy politician who knows how to count. Latinos probably will support her stand, and they made up more than 20 percent of the California electorate last month. Harris’ position undermines Obama’s Se Communities program, which has led to the deportation of 1.4 million illegal immigrants, many of whom broke no laws but for their undocumented immigration status.
Sheriffs in Bay Area counties are divided on whether they must go along with federal requests to turn over suspected illegal immigrants who land in local jails, an issue raised anew this week by state Attorney General Kamala Harris. San Francisco complies only if an immigrant booked on suspicion of a crime already has a serious criminal record. Santa Clara County, under a policy approved last year by its Board of Supervisors, goes a step further and won’t hold anyone for immigration authorities unless the federal government funds the cost of an extra day’s confinement, a price the government has declined to pay. Alameda, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties hand over all inmates sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a policy also backed by the California State Sheriffs Association. But Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston says he’s considering a change after meeting with local Latino and clergy groups.
The Los Angeles County sheriff will no longer honor federal requests to detain suspected illegal immigrants nabbed for low-level crimes like petty theft and graffiti after new state guidelines noted the practice is voluntary, a spokesman said on Wednesday. Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca announced the change a day after California’s attorney general issued a directive, welcomed by immigration activists, that compliance with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention requests was discretionary. Attorney General Kamala Harris is the highest state official so far to join a handful of dissenting authorities in major U.S. cities who oppose a cooperation program between immigration agents and local law enforcement known as “Se Communities. A spokesman for Baca, who has in the past supported federal immigration requests, said new guidelines were being written and would likely come into effect by the end o
Many Bay Area counties said they have already been using their own discretion when notifying ICE about suspected illegal immigrants—something State Attorney General Kamala Harris just gave them permission to do. Some even said that Harris’s decision doesn’t go far enough. Santa Clara County, San Francisco, order and Berkeley officials said they have already declined to comply with the Se Communities detention orders which requires that law enforcement agencies hold those who are suspected of being an undocumented immigrant after being arrested form some unrelated crime.
Many Bay Area counties said they have already been using their own discretion when notifying ICE about suspected illegal immigrants—something State Attorney General Kamala Harris just gave them permission to do. Some even said that Harris’s decision doesn’t go far enough. Santa Clara County, San Francisco, site and Berkeley officials said they have already declined to comply with the Se Communities detention orders which requires that law enforcement agencies hold those who are suspected of being an undocumented immigrant after being arrested form some unrelated crime.
Las peticiones de detención solicitadas por el Servicio de Migración y Aduanas (ICE) para los inmigrantes indocumentados que se hacen bajo el programa federal Comunidades Seguras no son un mandato por lo que las agencias locales deben usar el criterio para responder, order anunció ayer la procuradora Kamala Harris. El anuncio de Harris se da 24 horas después de que el asambleísta demócrata de San Francisco, store Tom Ammiano reintrodujera el Acta de Confianza, (AB4) que busca frenar el impacto que ha tenido Comunidades Seguras en las deportaciones y separación de familias de inmigrantes que no han tenido delitos o condenas serios. “Este anuncio deja en claro que el gobierno federal no puede obligar a los jefes y sheriffs a mantener detenidos a los inmigrantes con base en una petición”, precisó la procuradora durante una conferencia de prensa en San Francisco. Agregó que los jefes de policía y sheriffs tienen que decidir bajo su criterio y autoridad si honran esa petición o no.
This week, online California Attorney General Kamala Harris issued a legal directive indicating that it is not compulsory for local law enforcement agencies to hold a detainee just because it is required by federal immigration authorities. Harris said that every police department must decide on its own whether to comply with the so-called detainers. These detainers are requests to hold someone beyond what criminal laws require, so that ICE may determine if immigration laws have been broken. There are several reasons why the decision Harris made is a step in the right direction. First, it validates the concern of many police chiefs and civil rights advocates that the Se Communities program not only does not fulfill its own objectives. In practice, it also has turned out to be damaging in several ways: creating fear of police in immigrant communities, having local governments foot the bill for detention expenses for an activity that is essentially federal and giving rise to civil rights..
California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris told local law enforcement agencies Tuesday that they were not obligated to comply with a federal program whose stated goal is to deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes. It was Harris’ first public assessment of Se Communities. Under the program launched in 2008, all arrestees’ fingerprints are sent to immigration officials, who may ask police and sheriff’s departments to hold suspects for up to 48 hours after their scheduled release so they can be transferred to federal custody. Although the intent may have been to improve public safety, Harris said that a review of data from March through June showed that 28% of those targeted for deportation in California as a result were not criminals. Those numbers, she noted, had changed little since U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement a year earlier pledged to reform the program to focus on the most serious offenders. “Se Communities has not held up to what it aspired to be,”
Burlingame man held after workers dodge nail gun blitz | Mike Aldax | Law and Disorder | San Francisco Examiner
A Burlingame man used a nail gun to show two day laborers how bothered he was by the noise coming from their construction site on Thanksgiving Day, according to prosecutors. Michael Timothy McHenry, 38, has pleaded not guilty to assault and vandalism charges in connection with the alleged attack in the 1500 block of Cypress Avenue. McHenry
California’s top prosecutor said Tuesday it’s up to local police agencies to decide whether to comply with federal government requests to hold illegal immigrants. The statement by state Attorney General Kamala Harris involves the federal Se Communities program, which was launched in 2008 to catch the worst criminal offenders. However, Harris said the effort is flawed because about-one third of people targeted by the requests in California have never committed a serious crime. The Se Communities program checks the immigration status of people who are arrested for any crime, and federal immigration officials have insisted local police agencies must honor all requests for detentions. Harris said her office has received dozens of inquiries from sheriffs and police chiefs confused about whether they must comply and hold detainees for up to 48 hours after they otherwise would have been released.