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Lawsuit Claims Sacramento Sheriff's Office Illegally Transferred Immigrants To ICE

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced Tuesday it is suing the Sacramento County sheriff claiming his office illegally transferred immigrants to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The lawsuit claims Sheriff Scott Jones is breaking state law.

The suit — which was filed Monday on behalf of Sacramento resident Michael Echeveste and area nonprofits United Latinos and NorCal Resist — alleges the sheriff's office illegally transferred immigrants to ICE after the inmates have completed their jail sentences instead of releasing them back to their families and communities.

Examples were cited, including one claiming the sheriff's office told ICE that Echeveste was getting released, so they could cuff him as he left Rio back in 2018.

Additionally, the ACLU said the sheriff's office was violating California's sanctuary law — the California Values Act — stating that "only a serious criminal conviction grants local law enforcement the legal authority to notify ICE about a person's upcoming release from jail, or to transfer them to ICE." The ACLU said it obtained documents that show the sheriff's office "improperly notifies ICE of the impending release of immigrants from one of two county jails, the Rio Consumnes Correctional Center (RCCC), and works to transfer them to ICE custody, even when they lack legal grounds to do so."

"Through this lawsuit, I hope to give a voice to other people who are going through this situation, other people who might not know English as well as me, since I was raised out here in California," Echeveste said in a news release from the ACLU. "Just because we weren't born here doesn't mean we're not human and that we're not deserving of rights. I'm very lucky to have a lot of help in fighting this, and I want other people to be able to fight for their rights too."

CBS13 reached out to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office for comment but they said it is department policy to not comment on pending litigation.

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