CALIFORNIA: Detainers by ICE ignored by Santa Clara includes two-time DUI driver


Your Community Is Put at Risk When ICE Detainers Are Ignored

Maurico Meija Sanchez cropped Santa Clara Calif twice deported, 2 time DUI offender detainer ignored
Your Community Is Put at Risk When ICE Detainers Are Ignoredwas deported twice and detainer ignored by officials. Your Community Is Put at Risk When ICE Detainers Are Ignored
Renato Castillo Colin deported and retainer ignored by Santa Clara County Sheriff

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) relies on the exchange of information with its law enforcement agency (LEA) partners to access foreign-born inmates at local, state, and federal facilities, and the use of detainers (Form l-247A) as part of its public safety mission. In many cases, these individuals pose a demonstrable threat to communities.

By lodging detainers against those individuals, ICE makes every effort to ensure that removable aliens are turned over to ICE custody at the conclusion of their criminal detention rather than being released into the community where many abscond or re-offend. For example, we know that one group of criminal aliens that ICE has researched has a recidivism rate of 46%.

An ICE detainer requests that the receiving LEA do the following:

  • Notify ICE as early as practicable (at least 48 hours in advance, if possible) before the alien is released from custody;
  • Maintain custody of the alien for a period not to exceed 48 hours beyond the time he/she would have otherwise been released to allow ICE to assume custody;

When jurisdictions fail to honor an ICE detainer, it risks both public and officer safety, and unnecessarily expends ICE’s already-limited resources.

  • In some cases, state or local laws, ordinances, or policies restrict or prohibit cooperation with ICE.
  • In other cases, jurisdictions willfully decline ICE detainers, and refuse to even provide timely notification to ICE of an alien’s release.
  • The results are the same: aliens are released into the community where they may potentially reoffend and harm members of the public.

Above is just a small sample of the types of individuals that are being released into your community and other jurisdictions that do not honor ICE detainers every day. These are dangerous, criminal aliens illegally present in the United States that local jurisdictions have deemed important enough to arrest and prosecute for their crimes. Yet, these same jurisdictions are preventing ICE’s lawful, Congressionally-mandated enforcement efforts to enforce the laws its officers and agents are sworn to uphold, against the exact same criminals. Instead of enforcement actions taking place within the safe confines of local jails, ICE is forced to increase its presence in corresponding communities as a result of these sanctuary policies.


Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is a native of Michigan where she lived until completion of high school. In 1969 she relocated to San Jose, California to pursue higher education and begin her law enforcement career. While still an undergraduate, she began her public service career in 1973 when she was sworn in as a Deputy Sheriff Matron, then the only full peace officer status position available to women. Sheriff Smith has spent her entire professional career with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office. 

Laurie graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice, and later received her Master’s Degree in Management from California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Sheriff Smith is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the State of California Command College, the FBI National Executive Institute and the American Leadership Forum – Silicon Valley. She is currently a Master’s candidate at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School through the Center for Homeland Defense and Security. 

On December 15, 1998, Laurie Smith was sworn in to serve as Santa Clara County’s 28th Sheriff since the department’s inception in 1850. She has also been consistently chosen for re-election through four additional terms to serve the people of Santa Clara County. Sheriff Smith has received numerous honors and awards for her public service, and has an outstanding record in the California law enforcement community. She is a past president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association and is a past Woman of the Year recipient by the California State Assembly. 

Sheriff Smith has been active in a number of professional and law enforcement organizations including the Valley Medical Center Foundation, Child Quest International, Santa Clara County Human Trafficking Commission, California State Sheriffs’ Association, California Peace Officers’ Association, Major County Sheriffs’ Association, National Criminal Justice Association, Police Futurists International and the National Sheriffs’ Association. 

She has been appointed and has served on the State of California, Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (appointed by Governor Davis, Governor Schwarzenegger and Governor Brown); the Speaker’s Commission on Police Conduct; the Office of the Attorney General, Blue Ribbon Commission on SWAT Practices and Policies; the Attorney General’s Violent Crime Reduction Task Force; and the Silicon Valley Regional Interoperability Authority. Within Santa Clara County, she has been appointed and served on the Community Corrections Partnership and Re-Entry Network Governance Team, the Jail Diversion and Behavioral Health Subcommittee of the Re-Entry Network, the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, and the Anti-Terrorism Approval Authority. She has also served on the Administration of Justice Advisory Board for De Anza College and the University of San Francisco.​