Sanctuary supporters refute county, sheriff

Daniel Mintz
Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT – The organizers of the Sanctuary Ordinance ballot measure campaign have described a county presentation and sheriff’s comments on the measure as inaccurate and misleading.

The county has discouraged voter support for Measure K, the November election ballot initiative that would bar county officials from communicating with federal immigration enforcers.

During a financial analysis presented to the Board of Supervisors last month, most supervisors and Sheriff Billy Honsal described the measure as a trigger for duplication of efforts and high costs.

Sanctuary ordinance campaigners joined members of the faith community in support of Measure K at a Sept. 26 press conference in front of county headquarters in Eureka.

Renee Saucedo. Photo by Daniel Mintz | Union

Rene Saucedo of Centro Del Pueblo and the Measure K campaign committee refuted the county’s portrayal of the measure’s effects.

The county’s financial analysis concludes that the reporting, monitoring and administrative work required by Measure K could result in added costs of over $300,000 a year, with the Sheriff’s Office being particularly impacted.

But Saucedo said that’s not true. “Measure K does not require the sheriff to do significantly more than what he already has to do under state law,” she continued, referring to SB 54, the state-level sanctuary law and the California Truth Act, which mandates record-keeping and public access to reports on communications with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

“Measure K will not add significant tasks on the sheriff or any other county official beyond what they’re already required to do,” said Saucedo.

She added that the extent of Measure K’s reporting requirements has been exaggerated and misrepresented by the county. The only reporting requirement of the sheriff advanced by Measure K, she said, is a semi-annual report.

Measure K would only require that the sheriff “track and report his department’s own communications with ICE, not all of ICE’s activities in the county,” she continued.

Saucedo also said that money will actually be saved if the sheriff and other county officials follow Measure K’s directive to not interact with federal enforcers.

A multi-denominational showing from the county’s faith community backed up the purpose and rationale for Measure K. Representatives of various faith groups urged support for Measure K, saying that it will prevent family separations and promote inclusion.

Deborah Hubbard, of McKinleyville’s Grace Good Shepherd Church, highlighted Measure K’s potential benefit to children. “There’s no more innocent person than a child,” she said. “Especially when they’ve lost 1,475 of them in the system, from separating them from their immigrant parents.”

The election will be held on Nov. 6.


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