Civil Rights Group Is Upset Because California City Cooperated With ICE

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Ezer Zuniga Contributor
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A civil rights organization filed a complaint Monday with Daly City, California, accusing it of violating a sanctuary law by handing a young man over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Asian Law Caucus filed an administrative complaint at city hall as it seeks to protect Jose Armando Escobar-Lopez, 21, from deportation. Authorities pulled Escobar-Lopez over while driving on May 11 and questioned him about his immigration status, the San Mateo Daily Journal reported.

The civil rights group said Daly City police conducted an investigation on Escobar-Lopez and then notified ICE about his immigration status. Afterward they took Escobar-Lopez to the police station, where they facilitated his transfer to ICE.


Escobar-Lopez is currently under ICE custody in Bakersfield, California, where he faces deportation to El Salvador. “It’s been frustrating because he feels he doesn’t have hope,” friend Krisia Mendoza said Monday at a news conference, according to KTVU. (RELATED: ICE Released List Of Illegal Immigrants Accused Of Crimes After Local Police Ignored Detainers)

Sarah Lee, the Asian Law Caucus’ community advocate for the criminal justice reform program, said Daly City’s current policy is vague, KTVU reported. She also argues that an ideal policy would build off of Senate Bill 54, which is California’s sanctuary law.


City staff is committed to reviewing and revising police policies and their alignment with Senate Bill 54, which prohibits police from cooperating with ICE unless the person commits a serious crime, according to a statement from Daly City. Escobar-Lopez does not have a criminal record, but he did have a deportation order from 2017 that required Daly City police to call ICE, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Daly City is willing to hear input from the Asian Law Caucus and other immigrant rights advocacy groups. However, the city doubts it will have to deal with another similar case, the San Mateo Daily Journal reported.

“The city assures the community that this was an isolated incident, and that there is no pattern or practice that shows that the Daly City Police Department directly or indirectly enforces immigration law,” Daly City said in the statement.

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