The TRUTH Act & Stopping ICE Transfers by San Diego Sheriffs


On Tuesday November 16, 2021 the San Diego County Board of Supervisors will hold a
TRUTH Act forum to provide transparency on how the San Diego Sheriffs have coordinated with ICE. The TRUTH Act not only provides Know Your Rights and Fair Notice information to people being targeted or detained by ICE, but it also requires local governments to hold a community forum annually if local law enforcement allows ICE access to any individual.

The reason the San Diego Board of Supervisors will be holding this year’s forum is because the San Diego County Sheriff's Department continues to allow ICE to share information with ICE, allow ICE access to San Diego County jails to interview individuals, and transfers individuals to ICE custody, making all San Diegans unsafe.

Click here to read our report on the implementation of SB 54 across San Diego County

The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) is calling upon the County Board of Supervisors to immediately stop ICE transfers, and stop using county resources to aid in the separation of families and deportation of community members. Here's why:

Law enforcement agencies have an obligation to make sure all people in our communities feel safe, regardless of their immigration status. The San Diego Sheriff County Department’s (SDSD) continues to undermine the spirit of the California Values Act (SB 54), which was designed to foster trust in law enforcement and improve public safety for all, through continued entanglement with DHS agencies. This entanglement includes allowing ICE access to county facilities, notifying ICE when community members are being released from Sheriff custody, transferring community members to ICE, participating on joint task forces with DHS agencies, and sharing information and resources with DHS agencies. This creates a climate of fear in immigrant communities and leaves the most vulnerable in our communities unprotected.

Law enforcement agencies must be accountable to the people they protect and serve — their local community members. The concerns we are raising about the Sheriff’s entanglement with DHS agencies are not new. We have raised these concerns the last three years, yet the Sheriff continues to allow ICE access to county facilities, notify ICE of release dates and transfer individuals to ICE, share information and resources with DHS agencies, and has expanded its work with federal immigration officials on joint task forces that lack transparency and accountability. The Sheriff’s department continues to ignore its duty and lawful obligation to be accountable to the people they are supposed to protect and serve. Further, the Sheriff is not in line with the Framework for the Future of San Diego County. This needs to stop.

The San Diego Sheriff Department is making everybody less safe by aiding ICE and DHS agencies with the deportation of our community members. Community members are less likely to call our local law enforcement if they feel they or a loved one might end up in ICE or Border Patrol custody as a result of the actions of our county Sheriff. 

As long as the San Diego Sheriff’s Department entanglement with DHS agencies continues, the County of San Diego is complicit in the separation of families and deportation of our community members. The Sheriff’s Department has demonstrated its unwillingness to listen to community members because it continues to utilize loopholes in SB 54 to collaborate with DHS agencies and helps facilitate the detention and deportation of our community members through the access and information they provide to DHS agencies. The County Board of Supervisors must act.

We urge the County Board of Supervisors to call upon the Sheriff to immediately stop using county resources to aid in the separation of families and deportation of community members.

For the first time, community members will be allowed to directly ask the Sheriff questions during the TRUTH Act forum. Questions must be submitted in advance. Please click here for more information on how to submit your questions.

Below are sample e-comments to submit for the TRUTH act forum. Click here for more talking points and sample comments in English & Spanish. 

Sample 1:

The San Diego County Sheriff must stop being complicit in the deportation of our community members. We demand the Sheriff stop allowing ICE access to county facilities, end all transfers and notifications to ICE, and stop sharing and receiving resources from DHS agencies. 

Sample 2:

Public safety is dependent on community trust. The Sheriff’s current entanglement with DHS agencies (ICE transfers and notifications, participating on joint task forces with DHS agencies, allowing ICE access to county facilities and parking lots, and sharing and receiving resources from DHS) erodes community trust and makes all of us less safe. We urge the Sheriff to end these practices immediately. 

Sample 3: 

The Sheriff’s policy of transferring individuals to ICE and notifying ICE of release dates results in double punishment and creates a separate justice system for immigrants. This runs counter to San Diego County’s commitment to racial justice and equity, as well as the Framework for the Future of San Diego County. We urge the Board of Supervisors to call upon the Sheriff to immediately stop ICE transfers and notifications.