End Immigrant Detentions in Orange County
Orange County residents and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) spoke out Tuesday against Theo Lacy Facility—the county jail—continuing to imprison people suspected of being undocumented immigrants.
Philip Romero, one of the ISHUES Project’s directors, was on site at the Tuesday morning meeting of the Orange County Board of Supervisors to say no to the county’s plan to not only continue, but expand, its contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The expansion would provide the county with $5 million in addition to the $31 million it already rakes in from its current detention program.
Watch this video Philip recorded of what went down at the Tuesday morning meeting.
As a long-time Orange County-based activist, Philip leads what is called an ACLU People Power group.
The ACLU helps community leaders across the country like Philip organize people in their area. People Power groups empower ordinary people with tools and support, so they can show up at their local police departments and ask them to not cooperate with federal immigration agents from ICE, which has largely been responsible for raids and detentions of people who cannot prove they are legally in the country.
Here’s a graphic that explains what People Power groups are demanding.
In 2012, Detention Watch Network rated Theo Lacy one of the ten worst immigration detention centers in the country. Just this year, the Department of Homeland Security’s own Office of Inspector General released a report detailing the same unacceptable conditions.
Theo Lacy detainees endure, including showers full of “trash, mildew and mold” and “slimy, foul-smelling lunch meat” that appeared to be spoiled.
Orange County is consistently an outlier in the state of California. It is the last county in the state that lets sheriff’s deputies serve the role of immigration officers via Section 287(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. This law authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to allow certain state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law.
Immigration holds are illegal under the California TRUST Act passed in 2014 and they have been found to be unconstitutional. This proves the Sheriff’s Department is not doing what the people who pay their salaries have asked them to do.
We at the ISHUES Project say immigration is not the business of local law enforcement and the ICE contract should be terminated!