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Orange County Bar Association

Proposal to House Illegal Immigrants in Orange County Jails

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo
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At a council meeting on March 9, 2010, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens offered a proposal to house 838 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees at two of the Orange County jails – Theo Lacy and James A. Musick Facility. Most of the ICE detainees are former federal, state or local inmates who were unable to provide proof of citizenship at the time of their arrest and were turned over to ICE after serving their sentence.

Sheriff Hutchens’ proposal was not well-received by both the Mayor and Councilmen. Both were “uncomfortable” with the Sheriff Department’s proposal especially since there was an issue of it violating the city’s 15-year-old agreement with the county, which specifies jail perimeters and limits on inmate population. According to the Orange County Register, Hutchens said “she did not believe the proposal would violate the existing agreement with the city because nothing new would be added to the jail.” She further stated, “We have no intention of increasing the population above what was discussed (in the agreement).”

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