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Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors Immigration Hearing Postponed

A public hearing about law enforcement matters regarding undocumented immigrants arrested for crimes has been postponed until the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting on Sept. 22.

Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino called the public hearing, originally scheduled for Sept. 8, in the wake of the July brutal attack on a Santa Maria woman who later died.  

One of the men arrested on suspicion of murder in the case is an undocumented immigrant with prior arrests and incarceration in the Santa Barbara County Jail.

Lavagnino noted the case received national attention, and exposed dangerous gaps in the justice system.

In the days after Marilyn Pharis died, law enforcement officials said their hands are tied in handling undocumented immigrants.

The 2013 California Transparency and Responsibility Using State Tools Act (“Trust Act”) identifies when state and local law enforcement agencies may detain an individual based upon an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer request, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department said.

A decision in a federal court case, Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County from 2014, also said that holding a person in custody based solely upon an ICE immigration detainer request may violate the individual’s constitutional rights.

The decision also said that a local or state agency could be held liable for this violation of a person’s constitutional rights.  

The hearing is being delayed because Sheriff Bill Brown is unable to be at the Sept. 8 meeting, Lavaginino’s aide said.

Like the meeting of Sept. 8, the Sept.22 session also is scheduled to be held in Santa Maria.

In addition to the sheriff, Lavagnino said he invited District Attorney Joyce Dudley, Chief Probation Officer Lupe Rabago, Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin, the county public defender and a representative from ICE to participate in the forum.

The meeting will begin at 9 a.m, in the Betteravia Government Center’s Joseph Centeno Administration Building, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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