Canal Alliance Responds: Steps in the right direction

December 3, 2018

In February 2018, Canal Alliance and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center published a report detailing the findings of our July 2017 Public Records Act (PRA) request.

Through this request, it was found that the Marin County Sheriff’s office was working in cooperation with ICE to the full extent allowed within the law by providing inmate release dates and granting jailhouse interviews despite having the authority to decline such requests.

Even in light of this information becoming public knowledge, the Sheriff’s office has continued its extensive cooperation with the federal agency by responding to 172 voluntary notification requests, which resulted in 65 inmates being arrested by ICE.

Since this report was released, Canal Alliance has continued to advocate for increased transparency from the Marin County Sheriff’s office by:

1) Identifying this as a goal of our public policy work, aimed to increase protections for immigrants in Marin under SB54, or The California Values Act;

2) Working closely with the Public Defender’s office, law enforcement agencies, elected officials and advocates to understand how cooperation with ICE affects our immigrant community and what steps we can take to build trust within our community;

3) Engaging in conversation with immigration advocates including local non-profits, the interfaith community, and the Ice out of Marin Coalition, with the goal of dismantling the deportation pipeline from Marin law enforcement to ICE detention centers; and

4) Co-requesting a TRUTH Act Forum on December 6, 2018, to provide transparency about local entanglement with immigration enforcement and presenting at the Forum alongside ILRC.

In advance of the December 6th Truth Act Forum, Marin County’s Sheriff Doyle issued a statement on November 30, 2018, that he would no longer share inmate release dates with ICE unless the inmate had been charged with or convicted of a serious or violent crime. In his statement, Sheriff Doyle cited the work of Canal Alliance and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center with his “change of heart.”

However, he admits that he will continue to make all inmate release dates public through his website and will continue to respond to telephone inquiries from ICE. Although we are glad to know that our work is having an impact on the Sheriff’s approach to this issue, we know that there is still much work to be done to protect immigrants in Marin County.

Please join us at the Marin County TRUTH Act Forum to discuss the next steps toward increasing transparency and public awareness of the devastating effects of deportation.

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