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Immigrant Advocates Launch ICE Out Of Fresno Campaign

Jul 16, 2015

Advocates held a rally Thursday in front of the Fresno County Jail in downtown Fresno.
Credit 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.