San Diego sheriff agrees to share immigration information with federal government

California

FILE – In this July 8, 2019, file photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, Calif. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore says he will comply with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s request for information on four people with criminal records, becoming the first state or local law enforcement official in the country to so honor such requests among a spate of jurisdictions whose laws sharply restrict cooperation with immigration authorities. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull,File)

SAN DIEGO, California (AP) — The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department will share records of people who were criminally arrested with immigration authorities, becoming the first local law enforcement agency in five states to comply with unusual demands for information, authorities said Friday.

In recent weeks, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued ‘administrative subpoenas’ — signed by an immigration official, not a judge — to state and local law enforcement agencies in Colorado, Connecticut, New York, Oregon and California.

Sheriff Bill Gore’s announcement, in a statement from his department late Thursday, came less than a week after ICE issued four subpoenas, the only ones so far in California. The agency is the first in all five states to comply with the requests, ICE spokeswoman Lauren Mack said.

The demands for information are among several recent moves by the Trump administration against what it considers “sanctuary” jurisdictions, which adopt laws and policies to limit cooperation with immigration authorities.

“While the Sheriff’s Department does not enforce immigration laws, we are obligated to comply with lawfully issued subpoenas,” the department statement read.

The department said a state law that sharply limits cooperation with immigration authorities does not explicitly address subpoenas. It said previous requests for information have been voluntary.

“A federal subpoena creates a mandatory legal obligation and is not ‘cooperation,’ ” the statement read.

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