Los Angeles

Santa Clara County Supervisor Proposes Change in How Jails Notify Law Enforcement Agencies

Two days after getting an earful from constituents, a Santa Clara County supervisor is proposing some changes to the county's sanctuary policy.

Supervisor Dave Cortese said the goal is to prevent another heinous murder like the Bambi Larson homicide.

Cortese is proposing police agencies in the county re-engage with immigration officers on a warrant system. The debate re-ignited after San Jose police arrested Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza for the Larson's murder.

Carranza is an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador with a long criminal rap sheet. Immigration agents say both Santa Clara and Los Angeles counties repeatedly refused to hold Carranza for deportation after the agency filed prior detainers on him.

On Thursday, Cortese said local police agencies should be working with ice to improve communication.

"To re-engage ICE one more time and get on an arrest warrant system with us so we know what's going on in real time and there's no communication break down," Cortese said.

In other words, Cortese suggests ICE should have issued an arrest warrant for Carranza after one of his prior convcitions, instead of relying on detainers, which is a tool he calls unconstitutional.

Cortese says ICE only issued three arrest warrants for undocumented immigrants in Santa Clara. All three happened last year and the sheriff complied each time.

"We're trying to make some improvements so there can be enough communication, enough notification," Cortese said.

Cortese is also recommending better evalution of mental health patients and inmates, whether they're undocumented or not. The supervisor also suggests community stakeholders and police agencies work together on public notifications upon the release of a serious violent criminal from jail, in accordance with the law.

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