From last month’s ‘Day Without Immigrants’ march in Fortuna

The Trump administration’s aggressive approach toward enforcement of immigration laws has led to questions, concerns and protest from many here in Humboldt. For one, how will these laws be enforced locally?

Sensing the uneasiness in the atmosphere, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey issued a statement today addressing how his office and deputies will approach such “complex and sensitive” immigration issues. Read Downey’s take below:


In recent weeks there have been several inquiries regarding the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office policy regarding immigration enforcement and cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security; US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Sheriff’s Office recognizes that Executive Orders from President Trump and immigration laws are a complex and sensitive matter and this has been highlighted in recent weeks. I acknowledge the necessity of communicating with all federal law enforcement regarding dangerous criminals booked into county jails.  This need arises from a desire to protect all members of our community from those who pose a credible public safety threat, not from a desire to enforce immigration law on a day-to-day basis. As the Sheriff of Humboldt County, I serve to protect the public safety above all else.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office mission is to provide competent, effective and responsive public safety services to the people of this community.  We recognize our responsibility to maintain order, while affording dignity and respect to all persons.  We hold ourselves to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct while serving the people of Humboldt County.  

Enforcement of immigration laws is not the job of the Sheriff and my office does not and will not conduct proactive or reactive immigration enforcement duties in this community.  Our #1 priority is to investigate crime and make our community safe.  My office would like to encourage the community to continue to report crimes and to seek protection and assistance from the Sheriff’s Office, regardless of their immigration status.  

Mike Downey,