In 2018, California’s Values Act granted protection to undocumented aliens from being turned over to federal immigration enforcement agencies. But a 31-year-old Salvadoran man filed a lawsuit against the Orange County Sheriff’s Department for allegedly violating this law by detaining him for federal immigration authorities.
Detained after traffic stop
Tustin police stopped the plaintiff, a father of three from Garden Grove, while he was driving. Police transported him to Theo Lacy jail in Orange.
Charges were not filed against the plaintiff. However, sheriff’s deputies detained him until ICE enforcement agencies arrived to apprehend him.
ICE held him for nine months in Adelanto until concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak at the detention center led to his release. However, he became ill with a fever, cough, and body aches. Authorities did not provide him medical care, according to another lawsuit.
Late last month, a federal lawsuit was filed on the plaintiff’s behalf by the UCI Law Immigration Rights Clinic. The plaintiff is seeking financial damages and a court order preventing the Orange County sheriff from holding inmates past their release time for ICE to pick up.
His extended detention, according to the complaint, violated California Values Act. This law prohibits state and local enforcement from keeping people in custody to comply with an ICE detainer.
The Values Act was intended to build trust between immigrant communities and local police because of the valuable role immigrants play in local communities, according to the plaintiff’s attorney. A spokesperson for the Orange County Rapid Response Network said that the Orange County has resisted this law and worked against the immigration community in the past.
An immigration attorney can help protect your interests under federal and California laws. You may lose important rights by not seeking legal representation in these complex proceedings.