San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos announced today that, effective immediately, his office will no longer respond to any requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for notification of an inmate’s release or transfer any inmate to its custody. The about face follows a Nov. 3 meeting at which residents railed about such cooperation in the past.

“It has become apparent to me that complying with those requests regarding the pending release of undocumented individuals who have committed serious crimes is undermining the trust we need to protect the community," Bolanos said in a prepared statement. "It simply is not worth losing the trust of many members of the public by continuing to process these requests from ICE. Our policy is now consistent with other Bay Area counties."

Bolanos said he had heard from "hundreds" of local residents who wanted the sheriff to protect the public, not enforce federal immigration laws.

Last year, the Sheriff’s Office says it coordinated 15 transfers to ICE from the county jail. Most individuals convicted of serious felonies serve their sentences in state prison, not county jail. If ICE believes an individual poses a serious threat, it can always obtain a judicial warrant, which all law enforcement agencies in the Bay Area must honor.

Bolanos reiterated that he remains committed to public safety.

“I will continually evaluate any effects caused by this change in policy and, if necessary, consider adjustments,” Bolanos said.

(11) comments

Truthheals

Really? To put on a show to give false sense of safety is a joke. In my opinion we all need protection from people like Carlos Bolanos. This is someone who will say or do what he can to look Good. Even if it means hiding a murder or slithering around involved in sex slave industry. Too many lies. Sorry but his words are ALWAYS SELF SERVING. If it benefits the people or if it’s to our detriment it first must serve him. Like I said. We need protected from people like Bolanos. He couldn’t be anymore of artificial.

CoastalB4

I disagree on the Sheriff's statement, his input from the general public is "to protect the public, not enforce federal immigration laws". He should do both. Did he mistakingly insert the word "not", when he intended to use the word "and"? I'm sorry, I don't believe so.

John Charles Ullom

It is a political decision the part of Bolanos. The right policy in my view but nothing about this change reflects well on Bolanos. The man stands for nothing.

There are plenty of reasons to vote this corrupt cop out of office that trump this example of pandering.

CoastalB4

The safety of all residents in any given community (SM County or otherwise) should be the primary focus and concern of everyone, especially our law enforcement people. That clearly doesn't seem to be the case in many parts of CA, and in this case SM county. The Sheriff's department are lead by an elected official... the County Sheriff. Hint hint.

Graham Charles

The sheriff’s decision will make us more safe, not less.

Cherokee62

Great decision Carlos!!! I support your decision 110%!!

CaseyK

Bad decision. Only 15 were removed….that’s a very small number…and clearly they were pretty bad. Why would the citizens want to keep violent felons within their community.

Egok

It clearly shows at the end of the article that anybody posing a serious threat including violent criminals would be removed by a federal warrant which supersedes anything Sheriff Bolanos says.

CaseyK

Sure 🙄. Speaking from experience, if the sheriff fails to notify ICE, the violent felons just walk out the front door of the jail back into society. Local law enforcement is a key cog to connecting the criminal to federal authorities. But with the Brandon Administration I guess it really doesn’t matter because illegal alien criminals are treated better than the citizens of this country. Voters deserve what they put into office.

Cleam

Nice move, I feel safer already. You can start an MS-13 junior cadet program next. You caved for criminals that harm the community. Shame on you.

Egok

He caved because of public pressure and a lack of written or verbal support from people like you.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

More Stories