For the past two years immigrant rights activists have shown up to the OC Truth Act Forum to seek accountability and transparency from OC Sheriff Don Barnes and for the past two years Don Barnes has evaded accountability and transparency.
In 2019, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department transferred the highest amount of community members over to ICE, more than any other law enforcement agency in the state of California.
This year the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged and changed every facet of life in Orange County and across the country. National reporting has shown that Immigration Detention Centers have been new hotspots for the virus this year. These few cases in early summer have turned to outbreaks in the fall. To date, ICE has documented 247 COVID-19 cases inside the Adelanto Detention Center in San Bernardino where Orange County residents are currently detained.
Don Barnes is actively working with ICE to deport community members even with the pandemic in the backdrop and the rise of COVID-19 cases. He has publicly stated that he will work to the “greatest extent of the law” to effectuate arrests for ICE.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors have a responsibility to hold Don Barnes accountable when his departments violate the law. We call on the Board to pass a moratorium on transferring anyone over to ICE amidst this global pandemic. The Board must act now!