Santa Cruz County Says 'No' to ICE Holds

Santa Cruz County Says 'No' to ICE Holds

"Santa Cruz County will no longer honor federal immigration holds for people suspected of coming here illegally, effectively ending local involvement in a controversial program known as Secure Communities.  The move follows the lead of several counties throughout the West that are reassessing jail policies after a federal magistrate in Oregon ruled counties could be liable for Fourth Amendment violations based on their cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  "We certainly wouldn't want to be subject to lawsuits and the like, so we are no longer holding someone solely on an ICE detainer (request)," Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak said. "There must be some other underlying offense."  The move was hailed by Latino and immigration activists, who for several years have criticized the sheriff's office due to the policy. The department has argued that its hands were tied." - Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 12, 2014.