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ICE Praises Orange County Sheriff for Defying California ‘Sanctuary State’ Law

Tom Homan (Win McNamee / Getty)
Win McNamee / Getty

U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Tom Homan praised Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens for her decision earlier this week to make the release dates of inmates in county jails public.

The move defies California’s “sanctuary state” laws, which are aimed at preventing state and local jails from sharing information about illegal aliens with ICE. By sharing information about all inmates with the public, Hutchens found a way to evade the state’s policy and assist federal authorities in their efforts to enforce federal immigration law.

“She and her department have been a valued partner of ICE for many years,” Homan said Tuesday, according to a statement quoted by the Los Angeles Times. “Despite the severe challenges that SB 54 creates for ICE, we continue to seek cooperation with all sheriffs and local law enforcement who, like Sheriff Hutchens, share our goal of protecting public safety and ensuring that criminal aliens aren’t released back onto the streets.”

Surprisingly, Governor Jerry Brown’s office conceded that what Hutchens did was in compliance with state law.

(Update: A spokesman for Gov. Brown contacted Breitbart News to contest the “narrative” that Orange County had defied state law:

To be clear, SB 54 (the legislation in question), very specifically, explicitly and intentionally permits local law enforcement to continue to make information like this publicly available (see 7284.6(a)(1)(C)).
This is not a “concession” but a statement of fact.

How can an action be “in defiance” to a law that explicitly permits it?

Breitbart News has asked the governor for an interview to discuss this and other issues.)

Orange County has become the new “center of resistance” to the so-called “Resistance” in California, standing up against state efforts to use “sanctuary state” laws by pushing back against Trump administration policies.

As the East Bay Express notes, the Trump administration is also quietly building support among California’s law enforcement community, which has lobbied against passage of some of the sanctuary state laws.

Elsewhere in California, ICE agents have been able to interview prisoners — even if only because of apparent mistakes by local officials.

In early March, ICE agents were granted access to jails in left-wing Santa Clara County — despite the county’s policy blocking ICE from its jail facilities, according to Bay Area public radio station KQED.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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