Two California Counties Drop Homeland Security Program to Detain Illegal Immigrants

According to the Daily Bulletin, the decision by San Bernadino and Riverside county sheriffs' departments to no longer detain illegal immigrants for the federal government without sufficient probable cause was hailed by immigration rights advocates.

The departments are suspending 287(g), a Homeland Security program which grants law enforcement agencies the right to hold undocumented immigrants until the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) can investigate or arrange for deportation. Emilio Amaya, a member of the Justice for Immigrants Coalition in San Bernardino, remarked, “It was the right step in the proper direction. We’re happy with the decision,”

According to the Bulletin, the decision comes on the heels of a federal judge’s ruling last month in Oregon, which forced the Clackamas County authorities to release a woman based on a lack of probable cause. Maria Miranda-Olivarez was being held while ICE was arranging for her possible deportation. According to the Oregonian, District Judge Janice M. Stewart ruled that "Miranda-Olivarez was not charged with a federal crime and was not subject to a warrant for arrest or order of removal or deportation by ICE.”

“Our community no longer fears law enforcement,” Amaya added. “In the past, people wouldn’t call police out of fear they would be arrested. Not anymore.”

The Oregonian reported that the Clackamas County ruling is predicted to have a continued ripple effect across the nation.


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