The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office released new information on the number of undocumented immigrants Immigration Customs Enforcement has taken into custody from their jail.
Margaret Mims says ICE started working in their jail back in 2015, since then the she says their jail has booked more than 85,000 criminals, of that number only 500 were undocumented and taken by ICE.
“I think there is a unrealistic fear that the jail is full of undocumented immigrants who commit crimes, and that it not the case,” says Mims.
The sheriff says her number one priority is safety.
She says that means arresting criminals, who, sometimes, they find out are undocumented after being booked.
“It’s actually 0.6 percent of our total bookings,” says Mims.
Mims says their department has never done raids with ICE.
She says if the undocumented community is concerned about increased ICE presence, they can blame Senate Bill 54 which prevents the sheriff from cooperating with ICE.
“Now because ICE has to do their business out in our communities, they will go where they think the person that they want is. And if there are other people around that are also undocumented, they are going to be caught up in that ICE sweep. when before if they were able to come into the jail that wouldn’t have happened,” says Mims
Mims says although there is fear among the undocumented community, she wants to encourage victims of crimes to not be afraid to dial 9-1-1.
“I can actually help them be here legally by recommending a U Visa, which gives them status for three years if they are involved in reporting and prosecuting a crime,” says Mims.
ICE has arrested at least 1,719 people from the months October to December.
That number represents arrests from Bakersfield to the Oregon border.
The numbers for January to March will be released in April.