The historic San Diego County administration building. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a Nov. 17 date for a state-mandated immigration forum.

The annual TRUTH Act Forum will take place at 5 p.m. on the same day as the board’s regular meeting.

In 2016, the California Legislature enacted the Transparent Review of Unjust Transfers and Holds Act, which requires a county government to hold a forum if a local law enforcement agency provided access to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Board Chairman Greg Cox and fellow Supervisor Nathan Fletcher requested the hearing date for the forum, which Fletcher said is about “safety, security and fairness.”

Cox said an evening forum would allow for greater community participation. In a time of growing distrust of law enforcement, “I think it’s critical we provide a forum,” he added.

Over the past few years, law enforcement agencies have been criticized by immigrant right groups for allowing federal agencies access to undocumented migrants.

Before the supervisors voted, they heard from immigration-related nonprofit groups, the League of Women Voters and Jewish Family Services of San Diego. All of them were in support of the November forum.

Margaret Baker, of South Bay People Power, described the TRUTH Act  as “a genuine exchange of information” and said it’s crucial for county Sheriff Bill Gore to be present at the forum.

“We also ask for open dialogue (among) the sheriff, the board and the community,” Baker said.

She added that the spread of COVID-19 is also a big factor, as the county is responsible for transfers of immigrants between its jails and elsewhere.

— City News Service