August 15: Public hearing on Immigration Initiative

San Juan County Council has the option of adopting an ordinance that has the same text as Initiative 2017-7 that will appear on the November General Election ballot. The council will hold a public hearing at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, August 15 for an ordinance protecting the legal rights of all county residents, regardless of nationality, place of birth or immigration status.  Among the things the ordinance will do is restrict the activities of the Sheriff's Office, ICE officials, and not allow the recording of certain information by county employees.

If the council chooses to adopt the ordinance the initiative would not appear on the ballot. 

The entire text is available here. The following are a few excerpts.

 A 1. Unless otherwise required by federal, state or County law, no County employee or elected official, whether paid in part or in full by the County, shall record information, inquire, or otherwise request specific documents or information about a person’s civil immigration status, nationality or place of birth. Documents include but are not limited to:

a. passports;

b. alien registration

c. work permits.

B 2. The County Sheriff and/or the County Prosecuting Attorney shall consider and use pre-booking and pre-trial diversion practices and Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, to the greatest extent possible, without regard to immigration status. In those circumstances in which a diversion program exists that does not require booking, it should be used.

C. 2. Neither County employees nor elected officials shall provide ICE or CBP access to an individual in County custody or allow use of County facilities to question an individual if the sole purpose is enforcement of federal immigration law. This applies whether the individual is held in a San Juan County facility or in a county facility to which San Juan County has transferred the individual.

D. 3 Courts should consider policies that require announcement of ICE presence in the courthouse. Courts should develop ways to increase accessibility to members of the public who may fear physically appearing in court based on ICE presence.

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