The Sonoma County Sheriff's Department is charged with illegally overreaching in their support for immigration enforcement by federal officials. The ACLU suit also challenges the regulation upon which that cooperation is based.
Julia Harumi Mass, staff attorney for American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLUNC) is the lead attorney behind that group's suit charging that the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been collaborating beyond the law to target, arrest, and detain Latino residents of Sonoma County.
The rights embodied in the US Constitution are not there only for American citizens, says Mass, but are explicitly applied to everyone, regardless of citizenship or immigration status.
Even as the ALCU lawsuit unfolds, Mass says she sees some early hints that the new Obama administration may be moving toward a different stance on ICE enforcement usage of the disputed regulations.