Voters in Humboldt Approve Sanctuary Measure
By Colton R. Overcash | November 15, 2018
Voters in Humboldt County, California recently approved a ballot measure titled “Measure K.” This measure formally authorizes the county to adopt policies that will augment the state’s existing sanctuary law, Senate Bill 54 (SB 54).
Measure K passed by less than 900 votes and will take effect immediately. The measure does the following:
- Requires the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office to compile a semi-annual report describing the rationale behind every detention involving an alien and any communication between the sheriff’s office and federal immigration authorities
- Requires documentation of activities by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and other federal immigration officials in the county
- Authorizes the Human Rights Commission to review the reports and report any violations to the county Board of Supervisors
- Prohibits the sheriff’s office from using county resources to perform immigration enforcement duties, accepting detainer requests, or voluntarily notifying ICE about the release of a suspected illegal alien
Sheriff William Honsal (R-Humboldt), opposed Measure K. He said the measure would create burdensome and duplicative duties for the sheriff’s office, which would prevent his deputies from performing essential law enforcement tasks. Hosal stated that his department was already struggling to patrol the entire county and needed to focus its attention on responding to crimes instead of reporting ICE to the county.
Moreover, the measure will impose a fiscal burden on the county. The Board of Supervisors reported that the measure would cost taxpayers between $171,500 and $312,650. However, the findings were inconclusive and could potentially lead to even higher costs.
Measure K creates duplicative and bureaucratic duties for law enforcement that will most certainly distract them from protecting the public. It will also create unnecessary costs that could potentially lead to higher taxes and reduced services.