Santa Clara County Resolution Against Secure Communities

Click here to read the full resolution (PDF).

From the Resolution:

“Secure Communities

The Committee received a report back from County Counsel responding to Supervisor Shirakawa’s referral on August 10, 2010 to the Board of Supervisors regarding the implementation of the U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program, Secure Communities, within the County jails. The report laid out the complexities of the situation and
options to address them. The Committee forwarded County Counsel’s first recommended action to oppose the County’s participation in Secure Communities. The Committee requested that the Administration report back to PSJC in October with more information related to item b, ensuring that County funds are only used to comply with requests by ICE to the extent that they are subject to reimbursement or required by law.

In summary, on May 4, 2010, our County was “activated” in the Secure Communities program without local authority
being granted. Participation in this program means that all fingerprints gathered at the time of booking which are
electronically transmitted to the California Department of Justice then to the Federal Bureau of Investigation are now
sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as well, to be matched against ICE’s immigration status database.
This practice of enforcing civil immigration law by utilizing County resources at the arrest stage is not aligned with our
local policies.

The Board of Supervisors on June 22, 2010 unanimously passed a resolution restating its long-standing policy of not
being involved with the enforcement of federal civil immigration law unless required by law.

On August 10, 2010, the Board of Supervisors directed County Counsel to contact the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, California Department of Justice and our congressional representatives, to clarify the County’s obligation to
participate in the Secure Communities program. At this time, no written response have been received by County
Counsel. However, in a phone call to County Counsel, the California Department of Justice responded that the State will
not impose an obligation on the County to participate, but that only DHS can activate or de-activate a jurisdiction.

Additionally, although DHS has not responded to County Counsel, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
recently wrote in a letter (see attached ‘Responses to Lofgren’s request’) that local jurisdictions that do not want to
participate in Secure Communities may formally notify ICE and the relevant state agency.”