Last week, a 3-1 decision by Santa Clara Supervisors changed the County’s approach to immigration. No longer would the County hold illegal immigrants, unless the U.S. Immigration officials pay for their incarceration. But since the department has already balked at such proposals, some fear that violent and dangerous immigrants will be let free.

The policy is a response to the federal Safe Communities program, which requires local jurisdictions to share immigration status on all of its prisoners with the federal government.

The new decision, to ignore immigration holds regardless of criminal history, has the County’s top prosecutor and top law enforcement official warning that the decision may be to the detriment of public safety. Instead, they say that serious criminals and threats to society should still be subject to the immigration holds, helping deport some of the currently incarcerated offenders.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

When Santa Clara County supervisors decided last week to buck the U.S. government by reducing the county’s role in deporting criminals, immigration authorities warned local officials that they were endangering the public.

But it’s not only the feds who are concerned with the 3-1 vote by the board of supervisors. So are some of the county’s top law enforcement officials, including District Attorney Jeff Rosen and Sheriff Laurie Smith.

They say supervisors are playing a potentially dangerous game of chicken with U.S. immigration officials.

Read the full article here.