The unanimous decision came after more than three dozen public commenters spoke against the expansion and none supported it. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said the expansion will bring an additional $5 million in revenue to the county without requiring more staff.
Councilman Jose Solorio proposed keeping the ICE contract, saying it helps detained immigrants stay close to their families and attorneys. Immigration activists loudly opposed it calling Solorio a “Latino Trump.”
In a letter Thursday to city officials, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials announced they were triggering a 90-day period to cancel the contract, in reaction to decisions by the council to reduce the number of detainees who could be housed there.
In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the City Council told city staff to work with nonprofits and law schools and develop a plan to provide lawyers for Santa Ana residents who are at risk of deportation but can’t afford an attorney.
Immigrant advocates packed the council chambers this week, largely to thank the council for their actions. But they also lamented that the city won’t act quickly to end its contract to house federal immigration detainees in the city jail.