San Rafael, CA – Citing the County of Marin’s track record of supporting the local immigrant community, the Board of Supervisors plans to consider a resolution September 15 in support of policies that improve the lives of all residents regardless of immigration status. The resolution also supports the Marin County Sheriff’s Office and its recent policy changes that further reduce cooperation with federal immigration enforcement actions and urges the Sheriff to continue reducing such cooperation.
The Board plans to discuss the topic at 2 p.m. during its regular online session September 15. The proposed resolution reaffirms the Board’s support for Senate Bill (SB) 54, known as the California Values Act, and the direction to County departments and employees to provide services fairly to all Marin residents.
The County has strongly supported equity efforts in recognition that local residents don’t all start from the same place due to systemic advantages and barriers. Through the years, the Supervisors have celebrated inclusion and demonstrated that diversity in local neighborhoods strengthens the community.
In recent years, however, federal immigration efforts have sparked fear and real harm in areas where immigrants reside, including the separation of families. According to the proposed resolution, collaboration between federal immigration authorities and local law enforcement agencies erodes trust. Members of the immigrant population are therefore less likely to approach law enforcement if they are victims of, or witnesses to, crimes, and when seeking basic health services, attending school, or in accessing critical support services.
Since the 2017 passage of SB 54, Marin County Sheriff policies have been modified so that deputies no longer respond to ICE about inmate release dates for low-level offenses and no longer allow ICE agents inside the booking areas of Marin County Jail. The result has been a drop in Sheriff’s Office response to ICE notification requests from 75 during 2018 to 27 during 2019. There have only six cases so far in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit communities of color especially hard in Marin. Nearly 70% of the county’s COVID-19 cases with known ethnicity have been among Latinx residents despite that they make up just 16% of the population. Persistent disparities in employment, income, health status, and access to health care experienced by communities of color also correlate with susceptibility to COVID-19. The proposed resolution reaffirms the County’s commitment to service all residents regardless of immigration status and encourage resident to seek safety net services at a time when our immigration community needs even more assistance.
“It’s critical that our most vulnerable communities feel safe in accessing the services to which they are entitled at a time when they need them the most,” said Board President Katie Rice.
See the staff report, staff presentation, and proposed resolution online. The Board welcomes public comment during its meetings, which during the pandemic are shown live on the County website.
If you are a person with a disability and require an accommodation, requests may be made by calling (415) 473-4381 (voice), Dial 711 for CA Relay, or by email at least five business days in advance of the event. The County will do its best to fulfill requests received with less than five business days’ notice. Copies of documents are available in alternative formats upon request.