SANTA BARBARA, Calif.Assembly Bill 2792, known as the Truth Act, requires local law enforcement to publicly report detainer requests made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
That's why Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown gave his Truth Act report to Santa Barbara County Supervisors on Tuesday.
Sheriff Brown said out of more than 130 requests a dozen inmates were picked up by ICE after their release from county jail. He said deputies did not detain them longer if ICE was running late.
Brown said they each had a criminal history and met the qualifying criteria for communication with ICE. He also said the number dropped significantly during the pandemic.
"If you look down this list you can see there's a variety of different charges that were qualifying charges and current charges the current charges for which people were held," said Brown.
Activists from a number of groups including CAUSE and SURGE in Santa Maria voiced their concerns by calling in during public comments.
They believe communication with ICE creates fear of law enforcement in the community and punishes people twice.
Frank Rodriguez of CAUSE said it happened to his uncle who had already served his time.
Rebeca Garcia said, "I know too many families that have been torn apart by the Sheriff's collaboration with ICE"
They urged supervisors to endorse California Assembly Bill 937, known as the Vision Act.
Third District Supervisor Joan Hartmann and Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart voiced their support.
Hart said people who have been released are not getting a get out of jail free card.
"Local law enforcement is not doing the work of immigration and they are separate jobs and they have have separate responsibilities, and people can work directly with local law enforcement to protect their communities, and feel the trust that should come from that relationship," said Hart.
The board voted to accept the Truth Act report, but did not vote on a Vision Act endorsement.
Board Chair Bob Nelson said cooperation keeps ICE from going into neighborhoods.
Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said the people deported had extensive criminals records.
One of the men deported had been arrested more than 30 times, another had child sex abuse on his record.
"I'm not judging the immigrant community by these 12 individuals by any stretch because every group has these 12 people in it. It is just a fact of life," said Lavagnino.
The Vision Act passed the California State Assembly in early June, and is now headed to the Senate.