According to JP Massar, a local civil liberties activist, writing for the Daily Kos, “As far as we are aware, this is the first time a major city has terminated an existing agreement with ICE.”
Massar also notes that the “Oakland City Council also passed a first reading of an ordinance designed to provide transparency and more closely regulate Oakland’s agreements with other Federal agencies.” The ordinance tracks closely with our model ordinance on Joint Terrorism Task Forces:
WHEREAS, the City Council finds that no decisions relating to participation in federal counterterrorism or other federal law enforcement activities should occur without strong consideration being given to the impacts such participation may have on civil rights and civil liberties, including those rights guaranteed by the California and United States Constitutions; and
NOW, THEREFORE, THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF OAKLAND DOES ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:
1) The City of Oakland, including but not limited to the Oakland Police Department, may assist federal agencies, including but not limited to, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) through its_Joint Terrorism Task Force, or any successor task force, joint operation, assignment, or enforcement activity (collectively, “JTTF”) in preventing and investigating possible acts of terrorism and other criminal activity only in a manner that is fully consistent with the laws of the State of California, including but not limited to the inalienable right to privacy guaranteed by Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution, as well as the laws and policies of the City of Oakland, including but not limited to Police Department policies, procedures, and orders.
2) Before execution of any Memorandum of Understanding or other written agreement, contract or arrangement (collectively, “MOU”) between the Oakland Police Department and the FBI, or other federal law enforcement agency, regarding the Police Department’s participation on the JTTF or other federal law enforcement agency task force, or any amendment to any such existing MOU, the Chief of Police shall submit the proposed MOU and any orders, policies, and procedures relevant to the subject matter of the MOU for discussion and public comment at an open meeting of the Privacy Advisory Commission.
Commenting on this legislation, Christina Sinha, an Asian Law Caucus attorney, told Massar
“The FBI has been surveilling Arab Middle Eastern, Muslim and Southeast Asian community for years, and their aggressive profiling has absolutely terrorized this community.”
“Previously, agreements with Federal law enforcement agencies and the Oakland Police went unnoticed and unmonitored,” Massar writes. “The City Council would give approval for the Chief of Police to negotiate an MOU with a Federal Agency but never review what was agreed to or any implications on civil liberties. Once this ordinance takes effect such goings on will be no more.”