Friday, December 13, 2013
A new report reveals that Orange County probation officials have referred more children to immigration authorities than any other county in the state. The report, titled Second Chances for All: Why Orange County Probation Should Stop Choosing Deportation Over Rehabilitation for Immigrant Youth, was authored by students in the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
Earlier this year, California took a giant step forward when Governor Brown signed the TRUST Act, a state law which limits who may be detained for ICE. "But Orange County officials insist on continuing to entangle themselves in federal immigration enforcement,” said Tim Martin, a law student and co-author of the report. “These referrals violate confidentiality laws and constitutional limits on the authority of county officers.”
“Although the Orange County Probation Department enacted changes to its policies last November, apparently limiting ICE referrals to children who pose a ‘public safety threat’ or instances where deportation would be in the ‘best interests’ of a child, our report shows that the Department continues to make a steady stream of referrals,” said James Buatti, another co-author of the report.
“Referring juveniles to ICE undermines the rehabilitative mission of the juvenile justice system, with no corresponding benefit to public safety,” said co-author Victoria Anderson. “The Department requires probation officers to do immigration work they were not hired or trained to do, at significant cost to the county.”