A legal and civil rights organization has filed an administrative complaint with Daly City after it allegedly violated the state’s sanctuary law and handed a man over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The complaint filed by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus seeks remedies for Jose Armando Escobar-Lopez, who was pulled over while driving and questioned about his immigration status.
The legal group says Daly City police conducted an immigration investigation and then notified ICE and took Escobar-Lopez to the police station, where they facilitated his transfer to ICE.
He is currently in ICE custody in Bakersfield and facing deportation to El Salvador.
The complaint also looks for Daly City to adopt a model policy created by the legal group that specifically stops all collaboration with ICE.
Sarah Lee, the Asian Law Caucus’s community advocate for thecriminal justice reform program, said Daly City’s current policy is vague, and the model policy builds off of Senate Bill 54, the state’s sanctuary law.
According to a statement from Daly City, city staff has a commitment to review and revise police policies and their alignment with SB 54. The city will welcome input from the Asian Law Caucus and other immigrant rights advocacy groups on the updated policy. However, the city does not believe that there are similar cases to Escobar-Lopez’s.
“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.
“The City has no comment regarding ALC’s Government Code Claim other than that the City will thoroughly and thoughtfully assess the allegations in the claim, and any demands for policy changes or monetary damages,” the statement said.
Lee said the complaint is the first step before a lawsuit. The city can decide to work with the group or refuse. If the city refuses, or does not respond within 45 days, the group has a green light to file a lawsuit against the city on the issue.
By Kasey Carlson, Bay City News