Alameda County’s elected Sheriff Greg Ahern may not be Joe Arpaio, but he sure seems like he’s trying.
Not only did Sheriff Ahern months ago refuse to listen to the people and stop cooperating with ICE (the Federal agency in charge of deportations), but just yesterday he told the people he does not believe he serves to f*** off yet again (in not quite so many words).
Here’s how it came down.
Back in January, hundreds of people protested and testified at a hearing before the Alameda County Board of Supervisors against the Sheriff Department’s continued cooperation with ICE and their ‘Secure Communities’ program (shades of Newspeak). Appeal was made to Sheriff Ahern to cease and desist such operations. These appeals were summarily ignored, despite the fact that San Francisco county and other counties in California has dropped their participation.
Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern has defied pressure from activists to stop participating in Secure Communities, a federal program that has led to the deportation of nearly 2,000 county residents since 2008…
… by the end of October 2012, a quarter of the million people targeted nationwide by Secure Communities had never been convicted of any offense…
It’s not just the deported and their families who have suffered…
Secure Communities has “undermined community policing strategies, harmed public safety and caused significant pain for immigrant victims of crime…
In response to testimony and Ahern’s refusal to acknowledge the harm his department was contributing to, Alameda County Board of Supervisors member Richard Valle recently introduced a motion to request that the Sheriff stop cooperating with ICE. Ahern’s response was, well, judge for yourself:
As for Valle’s resolution, Ahern said it “has no bearing on how I’m going to manage my jail.” The Board of Supervisors has no authority to make him operate the jails any differently, he added.
“Their resolution is an opinion, and I don’t even know if it will pass,” the sheriff said.
That sums up just about everything that is wrong with this picture. It is not Ahern’s jail. It is (for better or worse, and mostly for worse) Alameda County’s jail. The Sheriff is an elected official, and should be responsive to the people. There is no doubt in my mind that should a poll be taken in Alameda County, home to a potpourri of immigrants, nationalities and cultures, voters would overwhelming recommend against continuing to aid ICE in deporting undocumented immigrants who have committed no crime.
Not only is the Alameda Sheriff infatuated with deporting residents of the county he allegedly serves, he is also intent on evicting residents of the cunty from their homes. Just a few days ago six of his deputies evicted Gwen Winters at gunpoint from her home in Oakland, and undoubtedly his department has been evicting people in the county on an ongoing basis, all because banksters tell him to. Thousands and thousands of people have lost their homes in Alameda County, some of them leaving in despair; some of them willing to fight having to ultimately face Sheriff’s deputies.
This shit should stop. But it won’t. Sheriff Ahern believes he is the God of Alameda County, and, apparently, there is no one who can tell him differently.
You can make your voice heard at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, April 23rd, 10:30 AM – 2:00 PM 1221 Oak St, Oakland, CA. Not that Ahern will listen, but others might.