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.
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