A hearing and public forum on Immigration and Customs Enforcement access to individuals is scheduled for the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Sept. 17, in Santa Maria.

The meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m. in the Board Hearing Room of the Joseph Centeno Administration Building at 511 E. Lakeside Parkway. The agenda and staff reports on the hearing should be posted Sept. 12 at https://santabarbara.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx#current.

Gina DePinto, the county’s communications manager, confirmed the hearing will allow the County Sheriff’s Office to provide supervisors with its annual report on any ICE access to individuals held in County Jail during the previous year.

The Sheriff’s Office is required to provide the report by the California Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers Act.

Last year, supervisors received the report in December, when they also heard pleas from 21 immigrant families and supporters to “not take part in the deportation machine” and for “local law enforcement to disentangle themselves from federal agencies.”

Specifically, they asked for the Sheriff’s Office to stop providing the release dates for inmates ICE has an interest in, because when inmates are taken into federal custody as they leave the jail doors, they said, it tears families apart and creates fear in immigrant communities.

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At that time, Sheriff Bill Brown said he follows the provisions of three state laws and provides ICE with public information on inmates, including their release dates, only when it’s requested for specific individuals.

Brown also said the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t do any immigration enforcement or inform ICE about those who are booked into County Jail.

He said ICE finds out who has been booked when inmates’ fingerprints are entered into a federal database.

In last year’s report, Brown said a total of 15,241 inmates were released from County Jail in 2017. Of those, ICE requested interviews or release information on 526, but the agency only picked up 351 released inmates.

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