U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has decreased the number of requests that it has made to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
Tuesday, the Kern County Board of Supervisors held its annual TRUTH Act forum to detail to the public the cooperation the sheriff’s office has with ICE.
The backstory: The TRUTH Act, signed into law in 2016 by then Gov. Jerry Brown, requires county sheriff’s offices in California to report the number of inmates turned over to ICE.
- Kern County’s TRUTH Act hearings have often been lengthy in past years as the public protested any involvement that the county had with ICE.
The big picture: Last year 23,416 people were booked into Kern County jails, and ICE only made five requests for notification of release.
- That comes in at 0.02 percent of the total bookings, down from 0.07 percent in 2021 when there were 16 such requests. That number was also far higher in 2020 when ICE made 71 requests.
- One inmate was transferred from county custody to ICE in 2022, down from three in 2021 and 25 in 2020.
- The five individuals who drew interest from ICE were all Hispanic males. Their average age was 38, and the median time spent in jail was 63 days.
- ICE did not request any incarcerated person interviews last year.
The other side: Along with the presentation by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office to the Board of Supervisors, the American Civil Liberties Union also was given time to give a presentation.
- ACLU attorney Mayra Joachin said ICE made 264 detainer requests from May to December in 2022, according to documents obtained through the Public Records Act.
- That number was up from the same period in 2021, which saw 35 detainer requests made.
- “The clear picture is that ICE has not refrained from wanting to arrest individuals,” Joachin said. “ICE continues to want to arrest them, place them in detention proceedings and have them in ICE facilities that are right here in our backyards.”