Yolo Sheriff Ed Prieto consults with Mexican government and opposes Secure Communities; "our people"

In May 2011, Yolo (California) County Sheriff Ed Prieto held a press conference with others [1] expressing his opposition to the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Communities immigration enforcement program. Prieto admits he's consulted with a foreign government about a domestic issue, he may have indicated that racial solidarity underlies his opposition to the DHS program, and he wants to pick and choose which illegal aliens the DHS deports.

If you live in Yolo County, ask Prieto about his statements and actions - especially if he chooses to run for reelection or another office.

1. At [2] and [3], Prieto admits he consulted with the Mexican government; see that link if you aren't familiar with their activities inside the U.S.:

Prieto said he has been advised by the Mexican Consulate that his agency is not mandated to comply with the program. [2]... "I was always told it was a felony federal violation of law and was always under the impression that turning over any illegal immigrants (to ICE) was mandated by federal law -- and so did my employees," said Sheriff Ed Prieto of Yolo County, Calif. "But after we met with the Mexican consulate in Sacramento we learned it's not. Then I started looking into how many of our people are being deported before trial and I became very uncomfortable contacting ICE for nonviolent offenders." [3]

2. The "our people" may indicate that he thinks of illegal aliens as "his people", or he might just mean it in the sense of "our inmates." Either one is possible, but perhaps the reader could engage Prieto in a discussion of this topic and try to get him to use a similar phrase in a more detailed context. Or, just ask him outright to explain what he meant.

3. Prieto doesn't think that non-criminal illegal aliens should be deported. From [2]:

Prieto said "a high percentage" of those being deported under the measure in Yolo County have been convicted of low-level offenses, such as traffic violations, or not convicted of anything at all. He plans to research the program to determine whether it should apply to minor offenders.

If not, "we will not be contacting ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and putting an ICE hold on these individuals," Prieto said during the Wednesday news conference. "These kinds of programs are not essential and not beneficial to the community."

Prieto also said he is participating in pending legislation, Assembly Bill 1081, that would enable California counties to opt out of the program.

Prieto says he'll continue to inform DHS about violent criminals, which means that he wants to pick and choose who gets deported and who gets to stay here. Matt Rexroad - chairman of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors - raises the point at [2] that Prieto's stance on selective deportations differs from his stance on those who possess marijuana.

[1] Others on the call included Sheriff Patrick Perez of Kane County, Ill.; Arturo Venegas Jr., the retired police chief of Sacramento (link).

[2] davisenterprise.com/local-news/yolo-sheriff-criticizes-federal-immigration-program

[3] denverpost.com/commented/ci_18232713 by Esther Cepeda.