SJPD Policy on Immigration Law Enforcement

On Sept. 2, the San Jose Police Department issued a press release that explained the department’s policy on enforcing immigration laws. “Much discussion is taking place across the country concerning what responsibility local police departments have to ensure compliance with immigration laws,” it reads. “While the San Jose Police Department stands ready to work with any law enforcement agency to pursue violent suspects, regardless of a suspect’s immigration status, the Department has a longstanding policy of not arresting persons based solely upon their failure to comply with Federal immigration laws.

“This longstanding policy was reaffirmed by the San Jose City Council on March 6, 2007, through its adoption of Resolution No. 73677, which states, in part: ‘The City of San Jose has a strong interest in assuring that legal and undocumented immigrants do not fear interacting with their local government authorities. In past years, the City has seen how the reluctance of immigrants to interact with local authorities can critically undermine the health and safety of our community.’”

Here’s where the press release gets interesting: “‘The City of San Jose maintains that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids—while laudable where they target violent or predatory criminals for deportation—can have harsh and unintended consequences. Those sweeps that have cast the net widely to arrest otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants have raised the Council’s concerns, insofar as they undermine the ability of our police, fire department, and other city agencies to interact with fearful immigrants leaving all of San Jose’s residents less safe.’” 

By definition, how can an undocumented immigrant be “otherwise law-abiding?” It’s a contradiction in terms. If you are in the country illegally, you have, by every definition other than this, broken the law.

“The San Jose Police department recognizes the value of maintaining the community’s trust, and it is only by doing so that the Department is able to partner with the community to garner cooperation and provide the highest quality of service and protection to all community members, regardless of immigration status.”

Just so we all understand…the stated objectives of the San Jose Police Department is to provide the “highest quality of service and protection to all community members,” not to enforce the laws of the land as defined by the people. Throughout history, political minds have written and spoken out about the so called “slippery slope.”  Here it is.

We are supposed to be a nation of laws, not of men (and women). Who gets to define “community?” And, who gets to decide what’s best for it? Around which person’s (or persons’) values will our society be organized? These are some of the questions we face when we decide to turn away from the rule of law.


  1. “By definition, how can an undocumented immigrant be “otherwise law-abiding?” It’s a contradiction in terms. If you are in the country illegally, you have, by every definition other than this, broken the law.”

    Apparently, reading comprehension is not your strength.  It means that, other than breaking the immigration law, the illegal immigrant is not breaking any other laws.  Just as I do not support illegal immigration, nor can I support ignorance in blog writers.

    • The qualifier “otherwise” may work for you, but it doesn’t work for me.  The item raises several important questions and issues, yet your only contribution is to say that I have a problem with reading comprehension and am ignorant?  Excellent scholarship!

      • Pete,
        I think you are spot on when it comes to the term “otherwise law abiding.” It is an oxymoron to say that people who break the law are otherwise “law abiding.” I have read much on this issue and illegal immigrants don’t stop their illegal activity once they cross over the boarder. To work they have to have fake ID’s and Social Security numbers. Many have no driver’s licenses, so when they drive they are doing so illegally. The list of violations goes on and on. 

        When you look at the way other countries handle illegal immigrants, it leaves one scratching their head on why this country plays this game of move the shell. I agree that immigration reform is of vital importance. Why our President and other electeds are putting off confronting this long over due problem is beyond my comprehension span.

        Allowing illegals to have a free pass is grossly unfair to the millions of LEGAL immigrants who followed the law, and it teaches children that bending the law when they feel like it pays off.

        Also, I don’t think illegal immigrants who come to the US and procreate should use “splitting up families” as a manipulation to stay here. If I illegally immigrate to Mexico or any other country and have kids, both my kids and I will be booted out because they won’t be considered Mexican or any other country’s citizens. 

        Finally, the people who conspired to, and murdered my friend have long criminal records and are here illegally.  Sadly, my friend’s case isn’t unique. This insanity has to stop. Enforce the law equally, and stop the PC BS, and finger pointing.

        • “Why our President and other electeds are putting off confronting this long over due problem is beyond my comprehension span.”  We have let this problem fester so long that there are huge practical problems.  If we could wave a magic wand and all illegals would be transported to their home countries, virtually every restaurant in California would shut down in two weeks; no-one would be around to mow the lawn except the spoiled teenagers many of us have bred; so many parents would have to raise their own kids.  Sheeesh!

          What we need to do is get all these folks who have jobs “on the books”, and throw out the ones who don’t work.

          And I agree, the anchor baby thing has got to go away.  If you have a kid here just to get the sympathy of the limousine liberals, too bad.  Explain to your kid in Spanish back in Jalisco or Michuacan why he/she is no longer in El Norte.  It’s your fault—you were here illegally.

        • JMO,
          Sorry but once again I disagree with you on illegals being the only ones who will take low paying crap jobs. I do agree that illegals need a pathway to becoming legal. I don’t agree with allowing them a free pass to do it because they did and are continuing to break the law.

          Also, businesses that employ illegals need to be heavily fined for exploiting illegals for cheap labor. They are the reason these people come here and stay in the first place.

  2. I propose a march on city hall in which twenty citizens sneak up on the dais and declare themselves “unelected” council members.  Since the police department has no history of enforcing election laws, and the council is on record as having a strong interest in assuring that all otherwise law-abiding people do not fear interacting with their local government, these “unelected” council members should be given the respect, and the right to practice their self-proclaimed occupation, given to that vast community of “undocumented” cement masons, tree trimmers, landscapers, electricians, plumbers, and roofers—none restrained by trade standards, permit requirements, or licensing regulations. In addition, since these unelected council members have committed no acts of violence, their non-compliance with election laws should be ignored by local law enforcement authorities in the same way that immigration violations are currently ignored in the enforcement of drunk driving, domestic violence, theft, fraud, hit and run, and a host of other non-violent crimes.

    Who knows, if we get the right twenty on the council maybe for our next police chief we can get a model that runs on testosterone.

    • This is the single most brilliant post in the history of San Jose Inside. I nominate BS Monitor for induction into the SJI Hall of Fame. Right alongside frustrated finfan. (nudge nudge wink wink)His bust should be cast not in bronze, but in iron, as a tribute to the spirit of “irony” in which this remarkable post was submitted.
      Thanks, BS Monitor. You da man!

    • I got a laugh out of the post from BS Monitor, which I needed after starting to get worked up after reading the initial post from Pete Campbell and a few of the responses.

      I started to write a big long rambling rant…but nahh…the story/column and responses speak for themselves.  SJ is almost as liberal and PC as SF such that on issues like this they do dumb things like pass the amnesty ordinance or whatever. 

      Good politics can lead to really bad governance. We tend to get elected and non-elected leaders who place looking good and making everyone feel good ahead of doing what’s required.  Ce La Vie.

  3. 15 Million American has no job, many homes in foreclosure and we want to strain our economy even more by giving citizenship rights of education? There are three other things to be taken into consideration, which is not revealed by Sen. Reid, the author of this bill. The Senate DREAM bill allows you to be up to 35 years old! An illegal alien can get this amnesty even if he didn’t arrive in the U.S. until age 15. The bill is written so that the 2, 3 or 4 million illegal-alien applicants only have to CLAIM to meet the criteria. They don’t have to PROVE anything. DREAM leaves intact the chain migration system that will allow these 2.1 million illegal aliens to eventually send for millions more relatives. Before you even think that THE DREAM ACT should be made law, read for yourself the facts? Not the trashy rhetoric of liberal PR firms or Liberal Democrats like Sen. Reid and his posse of fringe groups. By all means let Sen. Reid recruit foreign nationals for military service as an attachment to the War bill, then once they have served a citizenship certificate. But definitely not a “De Facto” amnesty without joining the military and campaigning for the US.

    Surfing the web I uncovered some appealing facts about the illegal immigration circumstances in the state of Arizona. There is a positive view of Governor Brewer who has unceasingly tried to protect its citizens and permanent residents, while state Attorney General Terry Goddard thinks that Arizona should pander to illegal aliens. Character distrust is there, when he opposed in 2004 Proposition 200, which required people to provide proof of citizenship before registering to vote and to bring identification to the polls (Not just a utility bill, as with some temperate states). The initiative passed by a large margin anyway, and this shows Goddard has no strong convictions to halt any irregularities of foreign nations, deliberately or by error voting in any election cycle.

    At this time State Senator Russell Pierce stated,” if Goddard doesn’t like the efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, he should go to another state that “is friendlier to his friends, the illegal aliens.” pierce also added, “Tell him he ought to not pander too hard for them because they can’t vote, thanks to Prop. 200,” Pearce said. But this is far from the truth—GOOGLE “Voter fraud”. However, this is not true of other more indulgent states like the SANCTUARY STATE of California. All polling stations are susceptible to fraud, because their laws are based on the “Honor System”. This might have been acceptable up to the late 70’s, but with the rebirth of mass legal and illegal immigration, the honor system cannot be trusted anymore. Voter fraud has become very widespread around the country, especially in states with huge communities of illegal aliens.
    Finally, not much has been publicized about hearings of Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and ranking member of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. In a letter he stressed to the chairman, we must give access to the US Border patrol to open wilderness areas inside our border. Right now there are insensible laws, where federal agents cannot venture on public lands, but have overall mandatory access to private property. Criminal aliens make incursions on to federal lands along the southern border for drug and human trafficking, but the Border agents have limited access, While Border hearings are unlikely to happen with Democrats in charge, if Republicans take control of the House in November, this will be more likely to be one of their first orders of business.

    Environmentalists’ insist that Border agent vehicles do tremendous environmental damage to sensitive federal wilderness areas. But little is said about the miles of human garbage, left by illegal aliens in their activity along the dangerous border region. WE CAN FIGHT THIS AT NumbersUSA or your Senator, Congressman in Washington at 202-224-3121.

  4. Why should the officers enforce immigration laws when they can barely enforce drunk-in-public laws any longer? The SJPD has been beat-up by the city council, the Mercury News and community groups for enforcing drunk in public violations, and as a result drunks are not being arrested and are left free to provoke trouble and crash their vehicles. If an officer is restricted by policy, civil litigation and public criticism from arresting a simple drunk, how do you expect that officer to enforce something as sensitive as immigration law?

    • I don’t really want people being arrested merely for being intoxicated (using it as a legal pretext to arrest someone otherwise causing trouble is fine).  If having imbibed alcohol is going to be treated as a criminal offense, then why is the sale of alcohol permitted?  Are people expected to pour it down the sink?  If the issue is having imbibed in public, then why are bars licensed to operate in San Jose?

        • I have a story to tell..

          So a friend of mine used to worked downtown, I think it was the corner of 2nd and St John. He drove a pickup truck for the company he worked for.

          He was getting drunk at a Cinco De Mayo. He stumbed back to his companies gated parking lot, opened his car door, got his sleeping bag out and crashed in the bed of the truck.

          He woke up to being struck with batons.

          He wasn’t on public property.  He wasn’t driving, he wasn’t a danger to anyone, but the cops happened to wander by and saw him in the truck.  Did it matter that his name was on the magnetic signs on the truck?  Did it matter that his name adorned the company?  Did it matter that they entered private property to save us from his destructive rampage?

          No no no and no. 

          I’m with Kevin on this one.

        • What a total load of crap. The cops did not just happen to find him in the back of a truck and start hitting him with batons with no cause. There are two sides to this story, and you are quite gullible if you just believe your friend’s side of the story. Thank God you only got 7% of the vote when you ran for city council.

        • Robert,
          Try looking at this from a different point of view. How did the Police know this guy was the owner of the truck? How were they supposed to know if this guy was alive or dead, or had just robbed or raped someone? They didn’t! So don’t knock them for caring about the owner of the business this clown was in caught passed out in, or for checking to see if the passed out drunk may be laying there dying of a heart attack.

  5. The SJPD should enforce immigration laws. It should not be up to the chief to pick and choose which laws to enforce. Illegal aliens are a drain on our medical services, emergency services, and public school system. While it is popular to blame public employees for all of our economic woes, it is not politically correct to talk about the elephant in the room which is the billions illegal aliens cost us in higher taxes and crime. Enforce the law, Chief Davis. This is the cause of the popular uprising which has given life to the Tea Party movement and the recent legislation in Arizona, with many more states considering such legislation.

  6. As long as our media does stories like this:, enforcing our laws will never happen. These parents should be ashamed to put their innocent children through this. They are to blame for the separation of their family, no one else. They came here illegally and then CHOSE to bring innocent children into a situation they don’t deserve to be in. They take ZERO responsibility for their actions. That is just sickening to me.

    I’d like to know why the Merc, or other medias haven’t done a story on victims of violent crime whose offenders where illegal immigrants with LONG criminal histories, and STILL haven’t been deported? Is it because it makes for boring reading, or contradicts their defense of poor illegal immigrants?

    • I also find it interesting that there is no link to allow for comments on the webpage for that story? I wonder why that is? Could it be that the Murky News understands that the community as a whole has very little sympathy for those who break the laws of the land?

      I certainly don’t and I am half Mexican myself. But here’s the difference: my grandparents and great-granparents came here legally – on both sides of the family.

      • I think the Mercury disabled links on the story for fear of getting the types of embarrassing comments about ‘illegals’ routinely seen on this site whenever that subject – or, really *any* subject – is posted.

      • Anon1,
        “Could it be that the Murky News understands that the community as a whole has very little sympathy for those who break the laws of the land?” Yes, and they also don’t want to hear how fed up people are with stories like this. Their advertisers just might pull their ads and bingo the Merc will go bankrupt even quicker.

        My Mom and two sisters emigrated here LEGALLY from Germany, but the Merc could care less about LEGAL immigrants. They don’t write stories about how costly it is, and how difficult the process of coming here legally is because then no one would feel sorry for illegal immigrants. It is just sickening to see law abiding AMERCIAN citizens like those who’ve come here legally be slapped in the face like this by our government and our media.

    • Kathleen,

      The media downplays the illegal issue because they’re all hyper-liberal.  The politicians downplay the issue and ask for “reform” because they visualize future democrats at the polls.  It’s that simple and that basic.

      • Greg H.

        When I was growing up, I was very proud of the US. We had strong leaders, great mentors, and people could somewhat trust the media.

        Can you believe how far down this country has sunk? How weak our leaders have become? It makes me want to scream.

  7. Here’s another way of looking at it: It is estimated that 6.8% of California’s population is comprised of illegal immigrants with most of them being from Mexico. ( Assuming that San Jose has a similar population distribution, then 69000 people in San Jose are illegal. Of those, there will be a fixed percentage of that particular population who are ‘otherwise criminals’. So, if all the illegal immigrants in San Jose, they would take with them the ‘otherwise criminals’ as well. The net outcome of this would be that public safety would have fewer criminals we had to deal with – and ones who have no legitimate right to be in the US anyhow. The already overworked public safety sector would be slightly less overworked as a result.

  8. It’s baloney like this that is, among other things, undermining and destroying our court system as well.

    A while back, I was called up for jury duty and selected as a prospective juror.

    The judge ask jurors: “Can you make a fair determination based on the facts of the case without bias.”

    I replied:  “No, Your Honor”

    I explained: “The prosecutor was an assitant district attorney, supporting and advocating the policies of the people and government of San Jose.

    The GOVERNMENT of San Jose has an explicit policy of NOT cooperating with the INS (ICE) in the enforcement of U.S. immigration law.  San Jose will NOT report arrests of illegal immigrants to ICE as is required by federal law.

    As a juror, I will be unable to overlook the lawless conduct of the district attorney’s office and the government it is associated with.”

    Enough said.  The Assistant District Attorney shot out of his chair like a rocket and asked th judge to excuse me from the jury.

    • Local DAs don’t prosecute people for federal immigration law violations. The DOJ/ICE does. So your ignorant little tirade did nothing more than make you look like a fool in front of your fellow citizens. Before you go of and opine about the law, you should at least look up the relevant sections/codes and inform your self.

      Immigration law is very complex, with both CIVIL and CRIMINAL components and not a place where local cops and DA’s should be going. Let them focus on gangs, drug dealers, etc…

      • As an American Citizen you have a duty to set aside your views, wrong or right, and sit as an impartial juror. It’s part of your civic duty, period.

      • District Attorneys are responsible, as are all law enforcement officials, for reporting to ICE defendant suspected of being in the country illegally, something our politically correct DA’s office has avoided doing going back at least 20 years.

        I posted the appropriate penal code section (834b) previously but, like our government itself, you apparently don’t like it so you just keep on ignoring it and disseminating nonsense in its place.

      • > Local DAs don’t prosecute people for federal immigration law violations. The DOJ/ICE does. So your ignorant little tirade did nothing more than make you look like a fool in front of your fellow citizens. Before you go of and opine about the law, you should at least look up the relevant sections/codes and inform your self.

        You TOTALLY missed the point, Mr. Smarty Pants.

        I’m sure its probably the first time.

        You no doubt would have made a very wise and cogent point on some other topic.  I can’t imagine what topic, though.

        • You did post the code, but did so without bothering to understand it. Here were my replies.

          Let’s review the section of the CA Code you just posted, just like in a 1L class.

          The Code is clear, cooperate with ICE and if you arrest someone you can check their status. Nowhere does it mandate our authorize sweeps solely on the basis of immigration status.

          With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the following:

          Please note: “any such person who is arrested, and suspected”

          It doesn’t say “any such person who is arrested under suspicion”

          Here is my point, as a PO if you arrest someone for a crime and suspect they are an illegal, then go for it call ICE. What I don’t want is PO actively sweeping the streets for people solely on immigration status.

          The code does not refute my point, it reinforces it. It clearly states that ICE (previously INS) is the agency with jurisdiction and that federal law applies. And, most states have the same (or similar) directives on the books.

          Having tangentially dealt with immigrations case in the past, it can be a complex. For example, an illegal who is a victim of a crime can be granted a U visa if they cooperate with the government and help put the criminals away. This mostly used in slavery/indentured servitude prosecutions.

    • When the judge asked if you could hear the case “without bias” it was expected that you would base your response on an understanding of “bias” as currently defined by the government, that being prejudice against any person or group protected by law. That you chose instead to answer as if bias was not a controlled substance, but could be rightly held against public officials who ignore their duties, violate their oaths of office, or play the public for fools, was a glorious act of personal integrity and civic responsibility! In essence, you distinguished yourself to the court as a person who believes in the rule of law, the great irony being that in doing so you disqualified yourself from participating in its administration. The only thing that would’ve made the story better would’ve been had the judge cited Catch-22, and identified your bias and disrespect for the judicial system as a testament to your fairness and wisdom, thus rendering you as a juror of the highest qualification.

      Nice going!

  9. Maybe there ia another way to address this problem of illegal immigration.  How about – raise the minimum wage to $15-18/hr inc some health insurance.  Proof of citizenship or green card req.

    This puts American citizens back to work on jobs previously unwilling to do.

    Your Big Mac will cost $9 but overall taxes used for all kinds of entitlements will go down.  Your roofing and lawn care costs will go up but you will be employing people in your community who pay taxes back into the system.  Employers will complain but their taxes should drop as well as it will obviate the need for ObamaCare.  Civil rights groups will complain but a law such as this would be benign compared to other measures proposed.

    I will leave to someone else to crunch the numbers but on the whole it seems pretty straigh forward.

    • > I will leave to someone else to crunch the numbers but on the whole it seems pretty straigh forward.


      I’ve crunched the numbers:

      California prison system costs go down by $1.56 billion per year.

      California public education costs go down by $11.39 billion per year.

      California welfare spending goes down by $5.06 billion per year.

      California budget deficit is eliminated.

      Persons voting Democrat in California elections go down by 6,529,112 per statewide election.

      I would say there is a business case.

    • Since most of you are data challenged, her are some numbers for your to chew one:

      “The Obama administration requested $11.4 billion for the current fiscal year the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and its 58,105 employees, and $5.7 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its 20,134 employees.”

      “The number of Border Patrol agents has quintupled since the border buildup began in the early 1990s – from 3,555 agents in 1992 to more than 20,000 in 2009.”

      FYI. The largest jump to the CBP numbers happened when the Dems controlled Congress and thus the appropriations process…

      This best solution is to dramatically increase the fines for employers, but the Dems in Congress have been able to do that because the Reps and pro-business Dems have blocked them at every turn. You can thanks the U.S. Chamber of Congress for that. And given the recent Citizens United ruling, the Chamber is going to make sure that doesn’t change.

    • Actually, the enforcement of immigration law at the municipal level is very simple: when in the course of a law enforcement contact, an officer develops probable cause to believe that the person contacted is an illegal immigrant (i.e. has no identification issued by a US government entity, states he/she was born in Mexico but cannot produce legal visa/passport documents) that person can be placed on an ICE hold and booked under existing CA state law. It’s just like enforcing any other law such as drug possession, driving with a suspended license, possessing stolen property, etc. In fact, in some respects, it is even easier to document the probable cause for arrest than certain other crimes.

      • So what entails probable cause for being illegal? Speaking Spanish? Looking like a Mexican? The Court’s rulings on ID are murky at best, even after Hiibel. Theoretically, simply providing your name to an officer fulfills the requirement for ID under several court rulings. How many legal Jesus Martinez are living in the US.

        My problem is not with officers, in the line of their duties, turning illegals over to ICE. I.E., they conduct a traffic stop and the guy has drugs, so they arrest him and he’s illegal, so they turn him in, that’s fine. What bothers me is SJPD actively and solely patrolling with illegals on it’s mind.

        • AlumRock,
          I don’t think very many of us “anti-immigrant” people advocate that the police actively and solely patrol for illegals. We just believe that SJPD should be taking reasonable measures to assist the feds when, in the course of their duties, they discover that someone they have in custody is in this country illegally. There’s currently the perception that SJPD is actively engaged in thwarting federal imigration poicies. There’s reasonable cause to believe that this might be the case in San Jose because the political establishment has been actively sympathetic to the “plight” of immigrants and it’s not unreasonable to suspect that this mindset has been impressed upon the police force.
          This situation with the family that The Mercury News is exploiting, would not even exist had the warnings of us “anti-immigrant” people been heeded before this particular couple was invited to, encouraged to, and rewarded for sneaking across our border. This problem with the family now at risk of being divided is exactly the situation we warned about. It’s a no win situation. Anybody can see that-even us heartless conservatives. So this discussion isn’t even about what we do with these people. There are no good answers. Something will be done and no matter what it is somebody will have good reason to complain.
          It’s now about how we prevent this unfortunate situation from recurring in the future. If you want to put families at risk of being torn apart 5 or 10 years from now, then continue to obstruct efforts to get our federal government to effectively control immigration. Otherwise, in 5 or 10 years when the Mercury News is once again running a story describing the “suffering” of a poor immigrant family that snuck into the country 5 or 10 years ago, don’t expect me to give your opinion any respect.

      • Too bad driving without a license and insurance is not a crime warranting booking, posting of substantial bail and harsh fines.  That might stem the flow of illegals on the road.

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