Immigrants taken by ICE in Fresno County Jail

Top priority and low level criminals caught because of joint relationship

Fresno, Calif. - How many undocumented immigrants have been taken into Immigration Customs Enforcement's custody from the Fresno County Jail?
It's a question on the minds of many since the Sanctuary State bill was signed into law last month.

Senate Bill 54 prevents ICE from having free reign in county jails.

ICE has had access to the Fresno County Jail since 2015.

Since that time there's been more than 80,000 citizens and non citizens booked in the jail since the joint agreement June 22, 2015.

So far, of that number only 452 were taken into ICE custody.

Still immigrant rights activists doubt that number is legit.

"It's very suspect," says Santos Garcia, Immigrant Rights Activist.

Santos garcia says even if that number were true it doesn't paint the full picture.

"And then you multiply that with other counties. The same thing is happening in Bakersfield that is happening in Fresno and Madera counties," says Santos.

Garcia along with other immigrant rights groups have protested outside the jail demanding Sheriff Mims stop working with ICE.

Under the Sanctuary State bill they may have got their wish.

"Because I have some restrictions now as a result of SB54 as to who they can talk to in the jail," says Sheriff Mims.

When the restrictions were not in place, ICE was able to take into custody 452 undocumented immigrants in a 2 year period.

81 people committed priority one offenses, 355 priority two offenses and 16 priority three offenses.

"The priority ones are the most serious crimes," says Mims.

The Department of Homeland Security categorizes priority one as someone who is a threat to national security.
People categorized as priority two are people with misdemeanors and category three have what it categorized as other offenses.

"The people that ICE are taking into custody are those who have high potential of going back into our community and committing crimes again," says the Sheriff.

Santos says he doesn't want criminals in the community either, he just wants transparency so the undocumented community doesn't go into panic.

"There is a lot of fear out there, if you ask to talk to other groups they will tell you that they have no cooperation with Sheriff Mims in discussing this issue she will not talk to us about that," says Santos.

The Sheriff's office says they have met with protest groups earlier this year in relation to the rallies held outside of the office about getting ICE out of the jails.

The Sheriff says public safety is her number one priority,she says her deputies have never gone out with ice to do raids.

She does predict though because of SB54 raids will increase because of the lack of access they'll have to the county jail.


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