SAN DIEGO -- San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has revealed that as recently as March, federal immigration officers had desks in several county sheriff’s offices.
Gore told U-T San Diego that when he found out agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE, were working out of sheriff’s offices in North County, he asked them to leave.
Several years ago, ICE approached local law enforcement agencies to propose its agents work with local officers to target undocumented immigrants.
Only the Escondido Police Department agreed. And that partnership has been strongly criticized by immigrant rights activists.
Gore told the newspaper that the ICE agents stationed in county offices were working with his officers to target gang and drug activity, not undocumented immigrants as a coalition of right wing groups has contended. Nonetheless, he said when he found out about them in February, he ordered them gone because he did not want Latinos in San Diego County to perceive sheriff’s officers as immigration officers.
The agents' past presence in sheriff's offices came to light when the conservative Patriot Coalition of San Diego issued a statement asking Gore to reinstate them.