BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          SB 1289 (Lara) - Law enforcement:  immigration
          
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          |Version: April 11, 2016         |Policy Vote: JUD. 5 - 2         |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: May 16, 2016      |Consultant: Jolie Onodera       |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File.


          Bill  
          Summary:  SB 1289 would prohibit local law enforcement agencies  
          and local governments from contracting with for-profit entities  
          to detain immigrants on behalf of federal immigration  
          authorities. This bill would authorize the Attorney General, a  
          district attorney or city attorney to bring a civil action for  
          injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief and seek a  
          civil penalty of $25,000, as specified, when an immigrant  
          detention facility deprives an immigrant detainee of his or her  
          rights, as specified.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
            Attorney General (AG)  :  Potentially significant workload  
            increase (General Fund) should the AG choose to bring civil  
            actions for injunctive and other equitable relief, offset in  
            part by civil penalty revenues. To the extent the number and  
            complexity of cases brought forward is significant, costs  
            could rise into the hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.  







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            Local prosecutors  :  Potentially significant non-reimbursable  
            local costs (Local Funds) to bring civil actions for  
            injunctive and other equitable relief, offset in part by civil  
            penalty revenues.
            Local governments/agencies :  Potentially significant loss of  
            future revenue (Local Funds) due to the inability to contract  
            with for-profit entities for immigrant detention services. To  
            the extent a local law enforcement agency opts to detain  
            immigrants in its facilities through a direct contract with  
            the federal government, the agency could incur potentially  
            significant non-reimbursable costs (Local Funds) to ensure  
            immigrant detainee rights as prescribed are met.
            Private contractors/vendors  :  Unknown, potentially major costs  
            (private funds) to adhere to the specified standards and  
            processes for detainee transfers and rights to counsel,  
            translators, interpreters, and medical care as outlined in the  
            bill.  


          Background:  Existing law authorizes a county board of supervisors on  
          behalf of its sheriff, and a legislative body of a city on  
          behalf of its chief of police, to contract to provide  
          supplemental law enforcement services to private individuals,  
          private entities, and private corporations in specified  
          circumstances and subject to certain conditions. 
          As stated in the Senate Committee on Judiciary analysis of this  
          measure:  In California, and around the country, for-profit  
          detention facilities are increasingly relied upon to detain  
          immigrants who are oftentimes eligible for Asylum, Special  
          Immigrant Juvenile Status immigration relief, Victims of Crime  
          Visas (U-Visas), Victims of Human Trafficking Visas (T-Visas),  
          or other forms of immigration relief. Additionally, a few local  
          government and local law enforcement entities choose to enter  
          into agreements with federal immigration authorities to detain  
          immigrants in their county or city jails on behalf of the  
          federal immigration authorities.


          For-profit detention facilities are accountable to their  
          shareholders and not the people of the State of California.  
          Oftentimes, immigrants in immigrant detention facilities are  
          escaping persecution in their countries of origin and in need of  
          special care due to their persecution or because they have  








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          suffered arduous journeys as unaccompanied children. Ensuring  
          that immigrants are provided with the services they need to heal  
          oftentimes is in contrast to corporate interests. Because these  
          facilities are private, they routinely claim exemptions to the  
          California's Public Records Act and the federal Freedom of  
          Information Act. Despite the lack of access to records through  
          these acts, there have been reports of inadequate medical care,  
          suicide attempts, sexual assault, and even deaths at for-profit  
          immigrant detention facilities. Somewhat perversely, because  
          immigration detention is technically a civil form of  
          confinement, immigrants in immigrant detention facilities lack  
          many of the safeguards of the criminal justice system, including  
          access to counsel.


          Local government and law enforcement entities that choose to  
          contract with immigration authorities to detain immigrants are  
          to adhere to national immigration detention standards,  
          promulgated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  
          regardless of whether they detain the immigrants in their local  
          jails or contract their immigrant detention duties out to  
          private for-profit corporations. But many detainees have  
          reported experiencing deplorable conditions at city and county  
          immigrant detention facilities in violation of the national  
          standards. No meaningful enforcement mechanism currently exists  
          to hold immigration detention facilities accountable, whether  
          for-profit or run by local governmental agency, when they  
          violate immigrant detainees' rights. 




          Proposed Law:  
           This bill would prohibit local governments or local law  
          enforcement agencies from entering into or renewing a contract,  
          or modifying a contract to extend the length of the contract,  
          with a private corporation, contractor or vendor to detain  
          immigrants for profit, on behalf of the Department of Homeland  
          Security (DHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement, or the United  
          States Marshals Service. Additionally, this bill:
           Provides that if an immigrant detention facility chooses to  
            enter into a contract to detain immigrants in civil  
            immigration proceedings, it shall detain immigrants only  
            pursuant to a contract that requires the entity contracting  








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            with DHS or other federal agency to adhere to the standards  
            for detaining those individuals described in the 2011  
            Operations Manual ICE Performance-Based National Detention  
            Standards, as corrected and clarified in 2013. 
           Prohibits immigrant detention facilities, their agents, or  
            those acting on their behalf from depriving immigrant  
            detainees of (1) access to legal representation; (2) access to  
            translator or interpretation services; (3) medical care; (4)  
            freedom from harm or harassment; or (5) privacy. 
           Requires immigrant detention facilities to complete enumerated  
            activities when an immigrant detainee is transferred to ensure  
            that there is no delay, disruption, or denial of medical  
            treatment, after or before detainee transfer. 
           Prohibits the involuntary placement of an immigration detainee  
            in segregated housing because of the detainee's actual or  
            perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, or  
            sexual orientation. 
           Requires immigrant detention facilities to have a Legal  
            Orientation Program, as specified, that includes an  
            orientation on immigration removal proceedings and forms of  
            relief, distribution of self-help materials, provision of  
            private and individual consultations with unrepresented  
            detainees to discuss their cases, and referrals to pro bono  
            legal services. 
           Authorizes the Attorney General, any district attorney, or  
            city attorney to bring a civil action for injunctive and other  
            appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the  
            State of California and seek a civil penalty of $25,000, as  
            specified, when an immigrant detention facility, or its agent  
            or person acting on its behalf deprives an immigrant detainee  
            of his or her rights, as specified.
           Authorizes any individual who has been deprived of his or her  
            rights to bring a civil action for damages, including, but not  
            limited to, damages, injunctive and other appropriate  
            equitable relief, when an immigrant detention facility, its  
            agent or person acting on its behalf deprives an immigrant  
            detainee of his or her rights, as specified.
           Requires that if a civil penalty is requested by the Attorney  
            General, a district attorney, or city attorney, the civil  
            penalty shall be assessed individually against each person who  
            is determined to have violated the legal rights of a detained  
            immigrant and awarded to each individual whose rights are  
            determined to be violated. 
           Provides that the court may award the petitioner or plaintiff  








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            reasonable attorney's fees and costs in addition to any  
            damages, injunction, or other equitable relief.
           Includes related legislative findings and declarations.


          Staff  
          Comments:  The office of the Attorney General has indicated  
          potentially significant costs to address an increase in workload  
          should be bill be enacted. Additional workload would include the  
          cost of additional staffing to complete the drafting of  
          pleadings, discovery, and extensive legal research required for  
          these cases.
          By prohibiting local governments and law enforcement agencies  
          from contracting with for-profit entities to detain immigrants  
          on behalf of federal immigration authorities, this bill could  
          result in some degree of lost revenue to local entities. For  
          example, based on information reported by the Community  
          Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), an  
          intergovernmental service agreement (IGSA) that utilizes the  
          City of Adelanto for a contract between the GEO Group and ICE  
          for immigrant detention at the Adelanto Detention Facility,  
          could potentially result in lost revenue to the City of nearly  
          $228,000 (based on a flat administrative fee of $50,000 per year  
          for the facility and a reimbursement rate of $0.75 per person  
          per day for 650 persons).


          Staff notes the provisions of this measure do not prohibit an  
          IGSA between a local entity and the federal government, should a  
          local government entity, such as a law enforcement agency,  
          choose to detain immigrants on behalf of the federal government.  
          By prohibiting the practice of subcontracting with for-profit  
          entities for use of its facilities, a direct contract between a  
          law enforcement agency and the federal government to detain  
          immigrants in its own local facilities could result in  
          significant costs to local agencies to ensure immigrant detainee  
          rights as prescribed in the bill are met. It is unclear to what  
          degree the existing pressure on the capacity of local jails  
          would be impacted by this bill, but as previously noted, the  
          detention of immigrants on behalf of the federal immigration  
          authorities is optional. To the extent local agencies do not  
          have sufficient capacity or resources, local agencies could  
          choose not to enter into such agreements.        









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