Interim Sonoma Sheriff to Provide 'Less Cooperation' with Immigration Enforcement

Aug 11, 2017

Interim Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano
Credit Sonoma County Sheriff's Office

Sonoma County Interim Sheriff Rob Giordano released a statement August 10 promising "less cooperation" with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), responding to concerns in the community that go back to the policies of his predecessor, Sheriff Steve Freitas, who resigned for health reasons effective August 1.

As Giordano takes over the department, the first and most pressing item on his agenda is the treatment of immigrants released from the Sonoma County jail. The issue is whether undocumented members of the community will be called to the attention of ICE upon their release from the jail, whatever the severity of their crime, or previous crimes. 

Former sheriff Freitas's cooperation with ICE caused outrage among some members of the community, who believe that all residents of the county are less safe if immigrants involved in minor crimes are subject to detention by ICE and possible deportation. Others, amply represented in Facebook posts at the sheriff's page, believe that any crime should result in the sheriff contacting ICE and putting those released from the jail in jeopardy.

Here's the beginning of Giordano's statement, promising a detailed policy on Monday. You can read the rest of his message on the sheriff's Facebook page here.

"On Monday, August 14, the Sheriff’s Office will release a revised policy that affects how it cooperates with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in the jail. The policy results in less cooperation with ICE and will be implemented on Friday, August 18. Generally, the jail will respond to ICE’s inmate release date requests only when the inmate has a previous conviction for a serious crime. These crimes are those listed in the TRUST Act, plus another 14 crimes that are not in the TRUST Act but still present a threat to our community’s safety. You can read the TRUST Act here: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/…/codes_displaySection.x…. Keep in mind that inmate release dates are public record under State law. Anyone can call and request a release date and, if it’s available, we must provide it."