Good evening, Chairman Fletcher, Supervisors and Sheriff Gore.
My name is Esmeralda Flores. I am a policy advocate with the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. The ACLU is a member of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium.
We are here because the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has an obligation to protect the safety of all people in San Diego County, regardless of immigration status.
The sheriff’s department’s ongoing voluntary entanglement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does the opposite. The sheriff’s department routinely, directly and indirectly, transfers county residents into immigration custody.
By collaborating with ICE and other immigration enforcement agencies, the sheriff makes everyone in the county less safe. This partnership exposes our immigrant families, friends, co-workers and neighbors to:
- Immigration detention that can be harmful and even deadly; and
- Cruel deportations that can result in permanent family separations.
The COVID-19 pandemic underscores just how dangerous immigration detention and deportation truly are.
Our sheriff’s department is not required to work with DHS. Yet, Sheriff Gore continues to voluntarily endanger county residents by transferring them to federal custody. This is unacceptable. And we demand that it stop.
Other California cities and counties have ended their collaborations with immigration enforcement agencies – including San Mateo County most recently.
We urge the county and the sheriff’s department to follow the humane examples set by other cities and counties. We urge you to immediately stop using local resources to facilitate immigration detention and deportations.
Thank you for your time and consideration.