Tags: Donny Youngblood | Kern County | California | illegals | Jerry Brown

California Sheriff Would Defy Gov. Brown on Immigration

By    |   Friday, 10 Apr 2015 10:36 AM

A California sheriff who is drawing comparisons to Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio for his tough stance on immigration is proving to be a headache for Gov. Jerry Brown after announcing he would defy the state Trust Act, but he swears he isn't trying to create headlines.

The law, championed by the Democratic governor, restricts cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents, reports the Los Angeles Times, and Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood says that puts him in a difficult position.

While federal officials rely on jails to keep inmates who may be deportable, the state law says not to detain inmates who are being held for lower-level crimes past their release dates.

Youngblood's department does follow the Trust Act, for the most part, but he said he still has the right to violate the state law, depending on the circumstances.

"If ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] calls me and says, 'you have someone there who has committed this heinous crime, and we really need you to hold them,' I'm probably going to hold them," he told the Times.

But the Bakersfield native, 64, denies accusations that he is engaged in racial profiling and points out that a third of his deputies are Latino. Further, he still lives in the neighborhood where he grew up and which has turned heavily Latino.

Youngblood believes the federal government should either start enforcing the immigration laws it has or start making up some new ones. Even more, he strongly opposes President Barack Obama's deportation policies that allow immigrants with fewer than three minor crimes to remain in the country.

"You're in this country illegally and we're going to give you three bites of the apple? That's three victims!" Youngblood said. "If you commit crimes, you oughta go."

He stands out in a state whose Democratic-controlled government has passed a wide slate of laws favorable to immigrants, including allowing them to drive, practice law, and send their children to college with in-state tuition rates.

Last year, Brown made waves when he declared that all Mexicans — whether in the United States legally or not — are "welcome in California."

A Republican, Youngblood often refuses to sign paperwork allowing immigrants who are crime victims to apply for U visas, which allow them to remain in the country. Further, he's president of the national Major County Sheriffs' Association and wants ICE officials to share their data so police officers know if they are stopping illegal immigrants.

But some activists say that his actions mean he's set up his own policy on immigration and is scaring some 66,000 immigrants who are already in his county illegally.

The sheriff said his views reflect those of the conservative-leaning county's voters, who do not agree with the state's overall policies.

When it comes to the U visa declarations, Youngblood has signed just four out of the 160 requested between 2012 and 2014, and says he does not agree with the law because it rewards victims.

"If you have a system that rewards you for being a victim, it's subject to abuse," he said.

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A California sheriff who is drawing comparisons to Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio for his tough stance on immigration is proving to be a headache for Gov. Jerry Brown after announcing he would defy the state Trust Act.
Donny Youngblood, Kern County, California, illegals, Jerry Brown
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2015-36-10
Friday, 10 Apr 2015 10:36 AM
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