United States of America v. State of California et al

Filing 75

DECLARATION of Joe Dominic in opposition to 2 Motion for Preliminary Injunction. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Chris Caligiuri, # 2 Declaration of Arif Alikhan, # 3 Declaration of Jim Hart, # 4 Declaration of Jeffrey Rosen, # 5 Declaration of Diana Carbajal, # 6 Declaration of Holly Cooper, # 7 Declaration of Tom Wong)(Sherman, Lee)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 XAVIER BECERRA Attorney General of California THOMAS PATTERSON Senior Assistant Attorney General MICHAEL NEWMAN SATOSHI YANAI Supervising Deputy Attorneys General CHRISTINE CHUANG ANTHONY HAKL CHEROKEE DM MELTON LEELSHERMAN Deputy Attorneys General State Bar No. 272271 300 S. Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90013 Telephone: (213) 269-6404 Fax: (213) 897-7605 E-mail: Lee. Sherman@doj.ca.gov Attorneys for Defendants 11 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 12 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 13 14 15 16 THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff, 17 18 19 Case No. 2:18-cv-00490-JAM-KJN v. 21 THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA; EDMUND GERALD BROWN JR., Governor of California, in his official capacity; and XAVIER BECERRA, Attorney General of California, in his official capacity, 22 DECLARATION OF JIM HART IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS' OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION Defendants. 20 Judge: Honorable John A. Mendez Action Filed: March 6, 2018 23 24 25 26 27 28 Deel. of Jim Hart in Supp. ofDefs.' Opp'n to Pl. 's Mot. for Prelim. lnj. (18-cv-00490-JAM-KJN) 1 I, Jim Hart, declare as follows: 2 1. I am a resident of the State of California. I have personal knowledge of the facts 3 set forth in this declaration. If called as a witness, I could and would testify competently to the 4 matters set forth below. 5 6 7 2. I am the Sheriff of Santa Cruz County, California. I have worked with the Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office for 29 years and have served as Sheriff since 2015. 3. The Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office serves unincorporated areas of the County of 8 Santa Cruz which spans approximately 420 square miles. There are approximately 140 thousand 9 people in these areas and approximately 275 thousand in the County in total. On any given 1o weekend, there are 50-100 thousand visitors. The Sheriffs Office has more than 360 employees, 11 including 160 sworn peace officers. The Sheriffs Office investigates thousands of suspected 12 crimes each year. 13 4. The core function of the Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office is to effectively police the 14 unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County and protect the communities living within the County 15 of Santa Cruz. Community trust and cooperation are essential elements to community oriented 16 policing, and the foundation of the Sheriffs Office public safety work. 17 5. I am familiar with the Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office's policies regarding the 18 investigation and enforcement of immigration laws. I am also familiar with the California Values 19 Act, or "SB 54." For the reasons discussed below, these laws and policies benefit the public 20 safety of our community. They foster trust between law enforcement and the residents we serve, 21 and facilitate open and candid reporting of crimes. Moreover, they have been successful in 22 creating an environment where community members, regardless of their immigration status, feel 23 comfortable to report crimes, serve as witnesses, and assist law enforcement with investigations. 24 6. Since at least 1996, the Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office has had in place policies 25 restricting employees from questioning, investigating, searching, or arresting members of the 26 public solely because of their immigration or citizenship status or an actual or suspected violation 27 of federal immigration law. Based on my experience and my opinion about the law enforcement 28 needs and priorities of the County of Santa Cruz, I agree with and support these policies, which 1 Deel. of Jim Hart in Supp. ofDefs.' Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Prelim. Inj. (18-cv-00490-JAM-KJN) 1 align with the Sheriff's Office's longstanding community policing practices and have been 2 updated since I was elected to Sheriff to conform with California state law, including the Values 3 Act. 4 7. This practice, and state confidentiality statutes that limit the sharing of information 5 about witnesses and victims of crime for federal immigration enforcement purposes, including the 6 limitations on sharing personal information in SB 54, also assists the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office 7 in detecting and investigating suspected criminal offenses. The Sheriff's Office relies on members 8 of the local community, without regard to immigration status, on a daily basis to assist with the 9 detection, investigation, and prosecution of crimes, as well in deterring criminal activity. 10 8. Conversely, based on my experience, I have found that community members are 11 less forthcoming in assisting the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office if it were viewed as an extension of 12 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Witnesses and victims are less likely to report 13 crimes to local law enforcement if they fear that the information they provide will be used against 14 them or someone they know for federal immigration enforcement purposes. 15 9. For example, in February 2017, ICE conducted numerous raids in Santa Cruz City 16 and in the unincorporated areas of Santa Cruz County. Despite the ostensible purpose of the raids 17 being to locate and arrest criminal gang members, ICE detained and held over twenty individuals 18 for suspected immigration violations that were not named in any arrest warrant or suspected of 19 any criminal activity. Although the Sheriff's Office did not participate in the raids, this single 20 day's events created a rift in our community and undid years ofrelationship-and trust-building 21 between our office and the community. This fear of deportation permeates throughout families 22 and communities that often consist of individuals with mixed immigration statuses. If a witness or 23 victim to a crime is a legal permanent resident, or even a U.S. citizen, they still may be hesitant 24 about reporting a crime if the report may implicate an individual they know who may be 25 undocumented. Overall, all community members, not just the undocumented, are less likely to 26 report crimes or to seek help from law enforcement if they fear that law enforcement officers are 27 operating as de facto ICE agents. 28 2 Deel. of Jim Hart in Supp. ofDefs.' Opp'n to Pl. 's Mot. for Prelim. Inj. (18-cv-00490-JAM-KJN) 1 10. As another example, these problems arise in the domestic violence context. A 2 victim who is an undocumented immigrant may be afraid to report an abusive spouse out of fear 3 that the spouse may retaliate by telling law enforcement that the victim is undocumented. Or a 4 victim whose spouse is undocumented may be afraid to report the abuser out of fear that the 5 abuser, who may be a co-parent or wage-earner, will be deported. In my role as Sheriff, I continue 6 to be informed that the failure to report these crimes is due, in part, because of the fear mentioned 7 above. These are the types of scenarios where the Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office policy and SB 54 8 can encourage community members to come forward and report crimes, to protect the public 9 safety, without the fear of deportation. 10 11. During my tenure, the Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office has certified U or T 11 immigration visas for more than 60 individuals who have reported crimes ranging from domestic 12 violence to armed robbery and serious, violent gang crimes that led to the arrest and prosecution 13 of numerous criminal offenders. The Sheriffs Office has also received two reports of hate crimes 14 that target one's race, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, or immigration status that led to the 15 arrest and prosecution of two criminal offenders. Without State laws and local practices that 16 protect the confidentiality of victims and witnesses of certain crimes, it would have been 17 significantly less likely that these victims and witnesses would have come forward, the offenders 18 would have gone free, and the community would be less safe. 19 12. If the Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office was forced to revise its policies to allow 20 unfettered compliance with federal immigration enforcement, this would undoubtedly undermine 21 community trust and cooperation with law enforcement in the County of Santa Cruz. Such 22 erosion of community trust in local law enforcement would have a chilling effect on the 23 reporting of criminal activity and assisting the Sheriffs Office in criminal investigations in the 24 County of Santa Cruz. Entangling local law enforcement with ICE would particularly lead to dire 25 consequences to our community's most vulnerable victims. Many victims of hate crimes, labor 26 trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assaults-as well as witnesses to these crimes-are 27 undocumented immigrants or associated to undocumented immigrations. The net result is that the 28 3 Deel. of Jim Hart in Supp. ofDefs.' Opp'n to Pl. 's Mot. for Prelim. Inj. (18-cv-00490-JAM-KJN) 1 Sheriffs Office would be in a worse position to effectively police, protect, and serve the 2 communities of the County of Santa Cruz. 3 13. Moreover, the Santa Cruz Sheriffs Office simply does not possess adequate 4 resources to enforce federal immigration laws. With respect to our law enforcement operations, 5 we have relatively few deputies to cover a wide area ofland - approximately one deputy on patrol 6 for every 50 square miles. Our deputies simply do not have the time to police the community and 7 engage in federal immigration enforcement. With respect to the corrections side of our work, any 8 additional duties imposed on us by ICE is burdensome. We have four jails in the Santa Cruz 9 County Jail system that run, on average, at 122 percent of capacity. On any given day, the daily 10 population runs anywhere from 115 to 130 percent of capacity. Our main jail, where pretrial 11 detainees are kept, can run as high as 135 percent of capacity. On top of this, we are often faced 12 with staffing shortages that make even processing the additional paperwork related to detainers 13 difficult. Thus, even ifwe wanted to cooperate with ICE's detainer requests, we simply do not 14 have the resources to do so. 15 14. Moreover, 60 percent of all arrests in Santa Cruz County are for misdemeanor 16 offenses. These individuals are booked in a matter of hours and immediately released. So, by the 17 time we get a request from ICE to hold these individuals or to notify them of their release, they 18 are already out of our custody. 19 15. Based on my experience as a law enforcement officer, I firmly believe that 20 cooperation between local law enforcement and ICE to enforce federal immigration laws harms 21 our relationship with our immigrant community and results in a less safe community because 22 immigrants fail to disclose crimes that they witness and/or are victims to out of fear of 23 deportation. It is my experience that an immigrant is no more likely to commit crime than a long 24 time community member. When our office is able to establish trust in the community, we see that 25 more people are willing to come out of the shadows and report crime which, in tum, enhances 26 public safety. Indeed, our rolling monthly total crime rate per one thousand residents is half of 27 what it is for the state: 15.28 compared to 29.89. For violent crime, the rate per one thousand 28 residents is also roughly half of what it is for the state: 2.0 compared to 4.4. 4 Deel. of Jim Hart in Supp. ofDefs.' Opp'n to Pl.'s Mot. for Prelim. Inj. (18-cv-00490-JAM-KJN) 16. 1 2 It is for all of these reasons that I support the limitations on local law enforcement's participation in immigration enforcement specified in SB 54. 3 4 I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is 5 true and correct and that this declaration was executed on 6 tlrzv• / 1,l, Cruz. 7 8 9 Jim 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5 Deel. of Jim Hart in Supp. of Defs.' Opp'n to Pl. 's Mot. for Prelim. Inj. (18-cv-00490-JAM-KJN) ,2018 in Santa

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