SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is facing mounting pressure from immigrant rights groups in San Diego to stop releasing inmates to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
On Tuesday, the department released the latest numbers on how many of those released from their custody were transferred to federal custody as part of the TRUTH Act Forum.
Sheriff Bill Gore said his department authorized 78 releases and transfers to ICE custody in 2020 for offenses that included burglary, assault, or drug-related crimes.
During last year’s forum, the department said it transferred 271 people over to ICE in 2019.
Immigration advocates called on the sheriff to end this practice, saying he’s not required by law to work with ice. There were over 200 public speakers, most speaking against the policy, with 19 speaking in favor. The comments were both in-person and virtual.
The sheriff then took questions from both the county supervisors and questions submitted by the public.
Gore called it a challenging position to be in, to find a middle ground between providing good public safety and gaining the trust of the immigrant community.
ABC 10News reached out to ICE after hours for comment about their partnership with the sheriff’s department and were told to expect a statement by Wednesday morning.