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ACLU SoCal Communications & Media Advocacy, 213-977-5252,
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July 25, 2019

Thousands of Operation Streamline Defendants Were Jailed in Violation of SB54

ORANGE — Today, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California and the ACLU Foundation of San Diego & Imperial Counties sent a letter to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department demanding it stop participating in federal immigration enforcement activities by imprisoning individuals charged with illegal entry into the United States.

The sheriff's department is violating the California Values Act (SB 54) that prohibits law enforcement agencies throughout the state from using local resources for immigration enforcement purposes. According to records published by the Million Dollar Hoods Project, nearly 4,000 people charged only with illegal entry were unlawfully booked in Orange County jails in 2018 under the federal Operation Streamline program. The ACLU identified additional cases of individuals held in county facilities under similar circumstances.

"The sheriff's department must immediately stop engaging in practices that violate the law and the public trust," said Monika Y. Langarica, immigrants' rights staff attorney at the ACLU-SDIC.

Under the Trump administration's Operation Streamline, all migrants found entering the U.S. without authorization are criminally prosecuted. These en masse proceedings that trample on the due process rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have overwhelmed San Diego's federal district court and jails.

"By continuing to collaborate with the federal government, Sheriff Don Barnes is disregarding immigrants' rights, the will of California's voters, and the state law he is sworn to uphold," said Erik Garcia, community engagement and policy advocate at the ACLU SoCal.

Read the letter here: