BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Tuesday the Kern County Board of Supervisors held a community forum for the California Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds or the TRUST Act during their regularly scheduled meeting.
The Southern California ACLU is currently trying to get new legislation passed called the VISION Act that they say will help stop local law enforcement from using loopholes in the TRUTH Act to keep undocumented immigrants detained for crimes past their release date.
Tuesday's forum allowed both the sheriff's office and the ACLU to give presentations on the TRUTH Act and for the public to weigh in as well.
The sheriff's office gave their presentation first, elaborating on what they're allowed and not allowed to do under the TRUTH Act.
"First, the sheriff's office does not hold inmates past their date of release or delay the release except as allowed by law or policy," explained Chief Deputy Erik Levig. "The sheriff's office does not ask individuals about their immigration status or provide ICE with access to our databases. We're not involved in the enforcement of immigration law, deportations, or immigration sweeps."
But during the ACLU's presentation, their spokesperson said the sheriff's office has and can hold undocumented immigrants past their release date if the sheriff has probable cause or believes that they might commit another crime which is why the ACLU says the new VISION Act is needed to close that loophole.
"The reason that this is causing significant concern to us is because we do not believe that there's any legal authority for the sheriff to hold an individual longer past the release date because the sheriff has probable cause to believe that they're committing or will be or are that they have committed or is committing a criminal violation beyond the charges," said Mayra Joachin with the ACLU of Southern California.
If you missed Tuesday's forum you can watch it below: