WASHINGTON -- Judicial Watch announced Monday that the Superior Court of California, San Francisco County overruled San Francisco Sheriff Vicky Hennessy's move to end a Judicial Watch taxpayer lawsuit challenging the Sheriff's sanctuary policy. The lawsuit challenges restrictions on the ability of sheriff's deputies to communicate freely with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) about inmates' citizenship, immigration status, and release dates (Cynthia Cerletti v. Vicki Hennessy, Sheriff (No. CGC-16-556164)).
Sheriff Hennessy's refusal to share basic information about the release of deportable criminal aliens in her custody - the date, time, and place of their scheduled release - plainly frustrates Congress' clear purpose in enacting section 1226(c). By refusing to share release information, Sheriff Hennessy allows deportable criminal aliens in her custody - aliens Congress plainly intended to be detained upon release from the custody of [law enforcement agencies] such as SFSD - to escape federal immigration officials' grasp. Her restrictions enable aliens who have committed aggravated felonies or other crimes deemed sufficiently serious by Congress to warrant detaining them and denying them bond or conditional parole to remain at large pending removal. Not only might such persons pose a further danger to the community - which was one of Congress' main concerns - but federal immigration officials must spend additional time and resources and assume unnecessary risk to themselves, the aliens, and others locating and apprehending them.