Orange County Sheriff: The California Values Act has made communities less safe

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes has posted a news release detailing how 2017 California Senate Bill 54, known as the California Values Act, has made communities less safe for law-abiding citizens.

California SB-54 prevents local law enforcement agencies from detaining illegal aliens on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Exceptions are made for certain violent crimes.

In the second year of SB-54's implementation, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has observed a 38% increase in the number of individuals for whom ICE has issued detainers reoffending once released from custody.

In 2019, ICE detainers had been lodged on 1,507 inmates released from the Orange County Jail. Of those inmates, 492 were transferred to ICE custody upon completion of their sentences, in accordance with California Values Act regulations.

SB-54 restrictions prevented the Orange County Sheriff’s Department from honoring ICE detainers on the remaining 1,015 inmates. Of those released inmates, 238 were later re-arrested for new crimes in Orange County, on charges including assault and battery, rape, and robbery. These numbers only account for individuals arrested on new charges and returned to the Orange County Jail.

In 2018, ICE detainers were lodged on 1,823 Orange County Jail inmates. The Sheriff’s Department reports having transferred 823 inmates to ICE, in accordance SB-54, but were compelled to release into the community another 1,106, despite ICE detainers. Of those 823, 173 committed new offenses in Orange County.

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