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Immigrant Advocates Launch ICE Out Of Fresno Campaign

Diana Aguilera
Valley Public Radio

Immigrant advocates in Fresno say they’re fed up with a recent decision by the sheriff’s department to collaborate in new ways with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). As Valley Public Radio’s Diana Aguilera reports, activists are demanding a change. 

Just last week Sheriff Margaret Mims announced a new program that allows two ICE agents to be stationed inside the Fresno County Jail. Federal agents can now check if inmates are in the country legally and can look at their criminal history to determine whether they should be deported.

Sheriff Mims says the program’s goal is to keep dangerous criminals off the street.

Immigrant supporters held a rally today in front of the jail in downtown Fresno. They say the program is a bad idea and Mims should get it rid of it.

"It's also going to harm public trust, when it comes to the community working with the police they may be less likely to do that because they know that the sheriffs are working with ICE," says Luis Ojeda with the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance.

The program has been in effect since June 22 and deportations have already taken place. 

Diana Aguilera is a multimedia reporter native of Santiago, Chile. It was during her childhood in Santiago where her love for journalism sparked. Diana moved to Fresno while in her teens and is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno. While earning her degree in journalism and minor in Latin American studies, Diana worked for the Fresno Bee. Her work as a general assignment reporter continued after college and was recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2014, she joined Valley Public Radio. Her hobbies include yoga, traveling and reading.