Op-Ed: Santa Clara County Should Protect Existing Sanctuary Policy

Weakening Santa Clara County’s sanctuary policy will not make our community safer.

In fact, doing so will actively decrease safety for all of us. Notifying ICE of prisoner’s release dates based on their suspected immigration status brings up serious questions about violations of due process, double punishment and civil rights violations.

If the county Board of Supervisors truly wants our community to be safer, it should focus on increasing mental health, addiction and rehabilitation services for all.

Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, the lone board member to vote to protect sanctuary on April 9, explained in her statement that our sanctuary policy is working. It is disheartening to see elected officials like San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo caving to pressure to change that policy, echoing racist Trump Administration policies that encourage scapegoating and disappearing people labeled as “undesirable.”

Under the notification rule the board is currently exploring, an undocumented person and a U.S. citizen could commit the exact same crime, and the citizen would serve time and get another chance to live life, while the undocumented person is handed over to ICE—perhaps never to be seen again in the community and by their family.

This is what some people want: for people they see as problematic to simply disappear.

I do not feel safer knowing that my local government and law enforcement wants to aid a government agency that cages children, locks people in hot vans for hours while denying their right to a lawyer, and, as Supervisor Dave Cortese pointed out last month, holds people based on their ethnicity with no due process.

Our current policy prevents local law enforcement from aiding ICE except when they have a judicial warrant. To walk back this progressive, human-centered policy that Santa Clara County fought to establish—even if by just a little—would endanger the people this policy is supposed to protect.

It will also break down the hard-won trust between immigrant communities, local government and law enforcement, once again forcing undocumented and documented people alike into the shadows of the Santa Clara County community.

Parents will be afraid of driving their kids to school, active community members will re-think engaging in community activities and events, and children will have to wonder whether the police officer pulling over their parent for a minor traffic violation will be the link to ICE that tears their family apart.

That’s why San Jose City Council members like Magdalena Carrasco and every area immigrant rights group have spoken out in support of preserving the policy as-is.

Everyone in the community is safer when everyone, including members of immigrant and refugee communities, feels safe communicating with local law enforcement. It is vital that the most vulnerable members in our community can call 911, whether it’s to report a crime, request an ambulance, or come forward to testify as a witness to a crime.

When members of the immigrant and refugee community know that there is an open channel of communication between local law enforcement and ICE, no matter how small or specific, they won’t trust law enforcement.

ICE has shown again and again that it is not an agency that is transparent, safe or fair. It has shown that it is willing and able to perpetrate atrocities akin to what many individuals go to prison for.

The people of Santa Clara County said “no” at the April 9 meeting, and the Board of Supervisors should take heed and keep the sanctuary policy exactly as it is.

Becca Hoskins is a Santa Clara resident and member of SURJ Sacred Heart who trains volunteers for the Rapid Response Network. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside. Send op-ed pitches to [email protected].


  1. Lawless sanctuary cities are a scourge on the law-abiding.
    /Kate Steinle could not be reached for comment.

  2. Everything that the author has written makes sense. Especially true is that until the Federal Government can enact some sort of humanity towards immigrants, then we as a community need to espouse our humanity. Currently forty percent of the City of San Jose’s population is made up of people that were not born in this country. Perhaps our leaders should side with our unusual demographics before that of the country as a whole. Santa Clara County and California share a long history of welcoming immigrants and we should be especially grateful for their choosing to come and live here. Our diverse demographics require that we accept the cultures of peoples throughout this world and that we do not close the door behind us once we are here.

    • This is not about immigrants which I am one of, it’s sanctioning illegal behavior. There are 5 billion people who would love to live here. Be careful what you wish for.

  3. > I do not feel safer knowing that my local government and law enforcement wants to aid a government agency that cages children, locks people in hot vans for hours while denying their right to a lawyer, and, as Supervisor Dave Cortese pointed out last month, holds people based on their ethnicity with no due process.

    Progressive politicians have a LONG LONG LONG history of conditioning legal and policy decisions and practices on “ethnicity”.

    Affirmative action.

    School busing.

    Harvard University’s admission policies.


    Identity politics.

    Etc. etc. etc.

    Progressive politics is FOUNDED on tribalism. Progressive politics is the politics of ENDLESS tribal warfare.

    Becca Hoskin’s screed is just a tribal warfare manifesto.

    The Trump Justice Department needs to do a deep dive into Becca’s collusion activities and find out how much tax payer money is paying for her immigration law breaking politics.

  4. I oppose the Santa Clara County sanctuary policy. We need to notify ICE of prisoner’s release dates.

  5. If everyone followed the rules and came here according to those rules, we wouldn’t have this problem would we?
    When people don’t follow the rules and it affects you it makes you mad, maybe you even feel violated, or scared. But when it affect’s a neighbor on a street a few blocks away from you, then you virtue signal about how “humane” we should all be.
    We have rules for a reason. If you allow certain people not to follow the rules then why should ANY of us follow the rules? Why should i follow the rules you want me to follow when you wont follow the rules i want you to follow? So let’s just throw all the rules out the window and go with anarchy instead. The biggest and the brightest will survive. Oh, and probably those who believe in guns too.

    • Agreed. Although I will respectfully correct you…She was not stabbed. She was slaughtered like an animal by an animal.

  6. ICE doesn’t need our help. They’re a borderline crimial organization themselves. I’d rather keep the sanctuary status just to frustrate their efforts.

    It is more than unfortunate about Bambi and the few like her, I really wouldn’t wish murder on anyone. But let’s look at the bigger picture: US citizens also commit murder, and a whole lot of it. How about the coward with the bump stock in Vegas? And all those other citizen nut jobs? That’s a bigger risk to you and me than a small group of undocumented people.

    • To say that something or someone is criminal means to say they do NOT comply with the law.

      Santa Clara County does NOT comply with Federal Immigration Law.
      Undocumented migrants do NOT comply with Federal Immigration Law.
      ICE DOES comply with Federal Immigration Law.

      So i ask you which entities listed above are criminal?

        • In my opinion the Santa Clara County Board of Directors are the worse offenders. We have elected them to be our County Government representatives, and if or own Government representatives will brake our own laws and flaunt it in the media, then they should not only face criminal charges for the violation, but also for failing to uphold the duties of their office.

          I ask you which do you find worse; the criminal, or the corrupt cop (govt. official) who allows the criminal to get away in exchange for something (i.e. money or votes)? Personally I find the corrupt cop more despicable. We put them there to enforce the laws, so when they break the laws you no longer feel you can trust ANY government.

      • The County of Santa Clara doesn’t violate the law. We just choose to not participate or cooperate in the Fed’s round up efforts. There’s nothing illegal about that.

        On the other hand, ICE separates families and puts kids in dog kennel -like cages. And they let vigilantes impersonate ICE. That sure looks criminal to me. So again, ICE itself appears to be a criminal organization.

        • I think you are seeing what you want to see SCC. By the way, most of those pictures were taken during the previous administrations efforts at enforcement.

          And yes, Santa Clara County is violating the law.

        • > And they let vigilantes impersonate ICE. That sure looks criminal to me.

          And, the more “progressives” oppose the rule of law and frustrate law enforcement with obtuse policies like “sanctuary cities”, the more vigilantism will become the rule rather than the exception.

          The “vigilantes” are NOT impersonating ICE; they are doing the job that ICE was commissioned to do, but that the “progressives” won’t allow to be done.

          “Vigilantism” is a symptom of the breakdown of law and order, which nihilists and radicals have been hoping and working for since before the Bolshevik Revolution.


  7. Week after week. Year after year. The supporters of illegal immigration try to make their pathetic case by making us all feel guilty when some family loses a father, mother or both because they get busted for being in our country illegally, get deported and we are all supposed to feel bad.

    Well, I don’t feel bad at all. Wait-a-minute, that’s not true, I do feel bad. When I was twenty-one years old I should have signed-up with the Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and participated in the holy jihad of deporting as many illegal aliens as I could round-up. It makes me feel really good just writing about it. Damn good indeed!

    Oh well, I’m an old, decrepit man in the twilight of his years. So, I will have to settle for advocating cutting-off all public funds to Sacred Heart. Sure, it is not as fun as jacking-up an illegal but, it is comforting. I will focus my efforts on that pursuit.

    David S. Wall

    • Wall said:
      > I’m an old, decrepit man in the twilight of his years
      That was my assumption. It’s usually the old guys that hold these kinds of views. Oh, and you forgot to mention “mean”, too. No wonder you don’t get calls from your grandkids.

  8. My friend who came to this country legally, was murdered by a gang of undocumented thugs. They had a long criminal record and got off without much punishment for each crime. My friend’s murderer is being protected by these thugs. The community knows everything about his murder but won’t come forward because they are here illegally and are afraid. It breaks my heart for his widow and daughters. I disagree with the BOS on protecting undocumented people. It puts our community in danger, it doesn’t get undocumented people to come forward about crimes they witness or know about. Also, I have just been a victim of identity theft. I have gone through hell because someone here illegally stole my SSN# to work here. It really pisses me off. My Mother and sisters immigrated here legally from Germany. Many of my friends are here legally, and followed the law. If they can do it, others can.

  9. Fingerprint all people who apply for public assistance. DMV already takes a thumbprint when you get a drivers license. Every time someone applies for public assistance, uses a credit or debit card or anything where electronic means of ID, that being a thumbprint scanner, can be used, have that person just put their thumb on the scanner. This will not only cut down on illegals but welfare fraud, identity theft, illegal hiring and a host of other problems. Thumbprint scanners are cheap, require almost no training to use and the State already has an electronic database. Use it. Good bye Mr. Illegal with fake social security number and 3 different names.

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