BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Even though he acknowledged his resolution to declare Kern a "law and order" county- as opposed to a sanctuary county- was primarily symbolic, Sheriff Donny Youngblood told 17 News he's disappointed his proposal was pulled. Yet he intends to have his voice heard.
Sheriff Youngblood is not happy the board of supervisors declined to vote on his non sanctuary county resolution.
"I don't like the fact that my board letter was pulled. It feels as if...I'm being muzzled as the sheriff," said Sheriff Youngblood in an interview Friday.
He says he will honor the decision by the county counsel, but that does not mean he agrees with it.
"It seems strange that throughout the nation there are a lot of cities and counties that are declaring themselves by a vote a sanctuary city...and how is that an appropriate vote if you can't vote it's non sanctuary?" asked the sheriff.
This just weeks after the state senate passed senate bill 54, which if signed into law would prevent local law enforcement from aiding immigration and customs enforcement in deporting undocumented immigrants.
Youngblood hoped to send a message to the state of California to emphasize where he stood in his county.
County Counsel Mark Nations explained his decision to pull the item from the agenda.
"Currently the sheriff is allowing immigration officials to have access to information from the jail, he has the ability to do that...and since immigration is solely a responsibility of the federal government, I concluded that a resolution by the board would be on something over which they have no jurisdiction and therefore would not be a proper use of their power," explained Nations this week.
We asked if Youngblood would follow SB 54 if it were signed into law.
"I don't know yet, I have to figure out, get advice from county counsel of what are the ramifications if i don't follow that law, and continue to work with ICE to better protect my community," answered Youngblood.
Sheriff Youngblood still plans to make his voice heard on the matter however, saying he will address the board in public comments at their meeting this coming Tuesday, May 2nd.
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