SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office is facing new claims that it violated state immigration law.
Activists said a deputy handed a local father over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in August after he spent time in jail for a misdemeanor.
Trying to hold back tears, Maria stood up for the father of her child, Enrique Nambo.
“It’s not fair having Julissa separated from her dad,” Maria said.
The Sacramento Immigration Coalition said Nambo is in immigration detention facing deportation back to Mexico.
Nambo was arrested in June on misdemeanor charges for driving under the influence. After serving four days in jail, his attorney claims a sheriff’s deputy turned Nambo over to ICE agents.
It was Nambo’s second misdemeanor DUI arrest. The first came back in 2017.
“Under state law, the California Values Act, if someone is convicted of misdemeanor DUI, they should be released at the end of their sentence,” said attorney Emi MacLean. “They are explicitly prohibited from being transferred to ICE custody.”
Under Senate Bill 54, which was passed in 2017, law enforcement officers are only allowed to cooperate with immigration officials under certain circumstances, such as a felony being committed.
A misdemeanor DUI does not fall under the criteria.
“This is the first time the sheriff’s office has been made aware of these circumstances or allegations of circumstances,” said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tess Deterding.
Sgt. Deterding said they are looking into the claims but have not been able to verify whether the transfer even took place.
“If the actions of the sheriff’s office are correct as they allege them, it does appear that would not be in line with Senate Bill 54, correct,” Deterding told FOX40.
Nambo plans file a complaint with the city as he fights his deportation proceedings in court.
His family said they are just praying Julissa will get to see her father again.
“He’s just a really good, he’s a good man,” Maria said.
FOX40 reached out to ICE for a comment but have yet to hear back.