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Read about the latest decisions at the state Capitol and how they impact your life (Fridays)
The same body that backed the Trump administration’s effort to overturn the California Values Act now supports an effort to further separate ICE from local prisons.
In yet another sign that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has shifted to the left, the county now supports a bill that would stop transfers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for anyone eligible for release from California state prisons or local jails.
Just a few years ago, the board supported the Trump administration in its lawsuit against the California Values Act, which also tried to limit interactions between local law enforcement and immigration enforcement.
AB 937, written by Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo, was spurred by high-profile transfers, like of an immigrant incarcerated firefighter and a domestic violence survivor, who completed their state prison sentences only to be transferred into ICE custody. In addition to stopping such transfers, the bill would prohibit state or local agencies or courts from using a person’s immigration status as a reason to deny probation or participation in any diversion, rehabilitation, mental health program or placement in a credit-earning program.
“This bill would ensure that undocumented immigrants are treated equally, get the services and resources they need and deserve, and would keep undocumented immigrant families and communities together,” wrote the county’s director of the Office of Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs in a memo describing the county’s support of the legislation.
The bill will be heard by the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
SB 2, a measure written by Sen. Steven Bradford and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins that would create a process to decertify police officers who commit serious misconduct, passed the Senate Public Safety this week.
The bill would empower the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to investigate and possibly decertify officers, allow the agency to audit law enforcement agencies and would create a new police standards advisory board made up mostly of non-officers.
Voice of San Diego and other news outlets across the state taking part in an unprecedented joint investigation found in 2019 that hundreds of police officers in California have themselves been convicted of crimes and are sometimes allowed to continue working and carrying weapons. In San Diego County alone, dozens of current and former officers have been convicted. California is one of only a handful of states that does not automatically decertify officers who commit serious misconduct.
After months of sustained and intense racial justice protests last year, the California Legislature shocked the nation by failing in the last few minutes of the legislative session to pass an officer decertification bill. Democratic lawmakers have singled out the effort as one of their top priorities.
“The current system of accountability is insufficient. Communities know who the bad officers are that are in their local departments because many of them are assigned to Black and Brown communities, or communities of low-income,” Bradford said at the hearing this week. “Yet it’s so rare that these officers are held accountable in court or held accountable by their own department.”
Alan Kuboyama, president of the Alameda Police Officers Union, disagreed, and took issue with the creation of the new advisory panel.
“SB 2 is not the right approach. SB 2 creates a potentially biased panel to oversee the process of revoking an officer’s license to practice law enforcement, ignoring our country’s tradition of due process and subjecting officers to a biased review of their actions where guilt is assumed and the deck is stacked against them,” he said.
Sofia Mejias Pascoe contributed to this report.