Under an updated policy to go into effect at the County Jail on August 18, the Sheriff’s Office will be less cooperative with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to Sheriff Rob Giordano.
Generally, the jail will respond to ICE’s inmate release date requests only when the inmate has a previous conviction for a serious crime, Sheriff Rob said in a statement.
“The intent of the policy change is to ensure we respond to ICE only for people with prior convictions of serious crimes,” he said.
The crimes that would still trigger ICE notification are defines in the state’s TRUST Act. Additionally, his office has added 14 additional crimes to the list that “present a threat to our community’s safety.”
Since January 2017, most of the public inquiries to the Sheriff have been about immigration policy, he said.
Giordano, who was named Sheriff in July after the unexpected retirement of Steve Freitas, said the effort to change the policy has been complex and frustrating
It began when Freitas decided to change its ICE policy after listening to community concerns and considering specific recommendations from the Director of the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Oversight (IOLERO).
Members of the Sheriff’s Office have been working on the revision since May 1. “We’ve been carefully considering which crimes should be included and how it should be implemented in the jail,” Giordano said.
The job was slowed by an inadequate computer system. The departure of Freitas also delayed the process.
“Second, Sheriff Freitas in early July for health reasons and I became Interim Sheriff on August 1,”. “This office’s policies are indicative of the bond the Sheriff has with his/her community. As the new Interim Sheriff, I had a duty to weigh in on the upcoming policy changes.”
“We’ve been proactively educating and reaching out to our community about immigration since November 2016 and will continue to do so,” Giordano said. “I’m open to hearing feedback about this revised policy and may update it in the future.”
Find more immigration information at: https://www.sonomasheriff.org/sheriffs-response-to-immigration-issue/.