Sacramento was one of many cities that saw May Day protests of U.S. immigration policy.
About two dozen noisy demonstrators picketed the offices of the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement offices and tried to block a gate that they said was a detention area.
There attempt to get arrested failed as police chose not confront the demonstrators. The protestors say the immigration policy of deporting undocumented aliens caught up in minor crimes or infractions is counter-productive and splits up families needlessly.
Another group demonstrated in front of the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacrament County Sheriff’s Department saying police policy discriminates against undocumented aliens. Organizers say police impound cars of undocumented aliens because if they don’t have a driver’s license. They say a new state law allows unlicensed drivers to call a licensed driver to their aid so their means of transportation isn’t impounded. Impound cost can run up to $2,000 dollars.
They say taking away an undocumented workers means of employment is discrimination and exploitation. But they admit that the policy also applies to legal citizens.
The Sacramento Police Department says it doesn’t enforce the law nay differently for undocumented aliens and bends over backwards to make sure they trust law enforcement.
“We don’t want them to be victims and not come to us for help,” Sacramento Police Chief Sam Somers said.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department says demonstrators have got it wrong if they think his office cooperates with ICE agents in violation of the Trust Act. That state law prohibits local sheriff’s from detaining undocumented aliens until ICE can check their backgrounds for possible deportation.
Both agencies say the exception is dealing with known killers or other violent criminals.
“Crime knows no geographical boundaries,” Sheriff Scott Jones said..
Jones says it’s a balancing act trying not to upset the immigrant community while trying to keep the community safe from violent criminals who may or may not have legal immigration status.