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7 out of 10 of the over 75,000 Californians deported as of May 2012, had no criminal convictions or were accused of less serious offenses, including traffic violations and selling food without a permit. As a result many immigrant victims and witnesses of crime are now afraid to cooperate with the police, which negatively impacts public safety for all.
ICE LIED TO CALIFORNIA
ICE shredded the Memorandum of Agreement that California signed to activate the program. When S-Comm began in California in April 2009, ICE stated in the cover letter to the Memorandum of Agreement on S-Comm that counties would need to sign a Statement of Intent to opt into the program. However, when San Francisco and Santa Clara requested to opt out of SComm, ICE refused to deactivate the program and unilaterally shredded the Memorandum of Agreement in August 2011.
NO TIME REQUIREMENT FOR ADOPTING A PLAN
AB 1081 specifically states that a “local agency is not required to adopt a plan . . . prior to complying with an immigration hold.” There is no time requirement to adopt the plan either before or after complying with an immigration hold.
ICE ITSELF DESCRIBES DETAINERS AS MERE REQUESTS The word “shall” in the ICE hold regulation pertains only to the 48 hour maximum time limit for which an individual can be held on a detainer. The regulation clearly states in section (a), entitled “detainers in general” that “[t]he detainer is a request.” 8 C.F.R. § 287.7(a). In Buquer v. City of Indianapolis, 797 F.Supp.2d 905, 911 (S.D. Ind. 2011), the federal court held that “A detainer is not a criminal warrant, but rather a voluntary request . . .” In addition, ICE’s own statements confirm that ICE detainers are requests. See FOIA records, available at:
S-COMM IS A PROGRAM, NOT A LAW S-Comm is merely an ICE program; it is NOT a federal law. Furthermore, it is unconstitutional for ICE to require local law enforcement to hold individuals for immigration detainers. The Supreme Court in Printz v. United States explains that the Tenth Amendment prohibits the federal government from “commandeering” state officials to enforce federal programs. See 521 U.S. 898 (1997).
AB 1081 DOES NOT IMPOSE LIABILITY The language of the TRUST Act’s public plan provision (“the Public Plan”) grants localities substantial discretion in creating and adopting the Public Plan and therefore does not impose liability.
AB 1081 LIFTS AN UNFAIR BURDEN FROM LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT The bill does not require Sheriffs to determine citizenship. Rather AB 1081 would ease the burden on law enforcement by setting a clear standard for local law enforcement not to detain people for deportation unless the individual has a serious or violent felony conviction. It should be noted that ICE hold requests are not evidence that someone is deportable. They are not even evidence that someone is not a citizen. There is no established standard of proof or probable cause requirement for issuing an ICE hold request, and they have erroneously been placed on US citizens as well as immigrants who are not deportable.
IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES ARE AFRAID TO COOPERATE WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT Immigrants want to live in safe communities, yet face unfair risks to working with law enforcement: under S-Comm, even victims and witnesses to crimes have been separated from their families and deported. AB 1081 would address this concern by bringing S-Comm back to its original stated focus on individuals with serious or violent felony convictions. Without AB 1081, S-Comm has operated as a mass deportation dragnet in California, resulting in the deportation of tens of thousands of individuals who do not have criminal convictions or were arrested on lesser offenses, and thereby creating distrust and fear of local police.