Maryland Sheriff Frustrated Illegals He Arrested for Crimes Freed by Feds

Kelly Riddell, Washington Times, October 7, 2014

Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins is doing his best to try to get illegal immigrants who commit crimes off the streets of his Maryland community, but the Obama administration and immigrant rights groups are foiling him.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has released 25 of the 98 illegal immigrants county deputies arrested and tried to process so far this year through the federal government’s 287(g) program. In 2008, the final year of the Bush administration, ICE only released two of 100 illegal immigrants the county turned over.

“Right now there’s lack of enforcement of immigration laws. But if we run this program the right way, we can do what we can to try to enforce them and get these criminals off our streets,” Mr. Jenkins told The Washington Times. “In my heart, I truly believe we’re doing the right thing.”

The 287(g) program was established to let state and local police play a role in immigration enforcement. Deputies and officers are trained to interview potential suspects in jail and run their names through ICE’s databases to discover if they’re in the country legally. If someone is found to be in the country illegally, the county then turns them over to ICE, which can initiate removal proceedings or release them based on agents’ discretion, considering issues such as an immigrant’s health and type of crime committed.

Sheriff Jenkins signed up for the 287(g) program six years ago, figuring it was a common-sense collaboration with ICE to help rid the community of the illegal aliens who were fueling local gang violence.

He doesn’t know how many criminals have been deported as a direct result of his program, but nationwide, the number removed through the 287(g) program has dropped. In 2009 it was 45,308, but in 2013 it fell to 11,767, according to internal ICE statistics.

Sheriff Jenkins said 25 percent of those detained through the county’s program committed serious felonies, compared with 11 percent just a year ago. None of the felons was released from the program. There’s also been a spike in the number of detainees who have known gang associations. This year, under the program’s dragnet, 11 gang members with violent histories were detained, as were four more with suspected gang ties.

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The American Civil Liberties Union says 287(g) leads to “racial profiling” and says the program is “beyond repair.” The ACLU has challenged the program in some jurisdictions, including a recent case in North Carolina.

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The intense criticism has spurred changes by the Obama administration.

In 2012 the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees ICE, eliminated the task force part of the program that trained police to enforce immigration laws when out in the community. It kept the jail enforcement part of the program, which allowed local police and sheriff’s departments to screen immigrants it was already charging with crimes.

The changes put an end to 17 stand-alone programs and seven joint programs in 12 states.

The administration also proposed cutting 287(g)’s funding by $17 million, leaving more than a dozen local communities who wanted in on the program in limbo.

This year, no new programs have been approved by DHS, and the Justice Department took the Alamance County, North Carolina’s sheriff to court on a civil rights case, charging racial profiling stemming from his use of the 287(g) program. The trial concluded in September, and a judge will rule in upcoming days.

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Now only 35 localities participate in the program, from a high of 75 during the end of President George W. Bush’s term.

Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, said the Justice Department’s lawsuit may be politically calculated to chill other jurisdictions considering joining the program.

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“This administration is doing what it can to scale back the program–not because it’s ineffective or expensive, but because advocacy groups that are opposed to enforcement oppose it bitterly,” said Ms. Vaughan. “Not because there was racial profiling or abuse of authority, but because the program increases deportations.”

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ICE, for its part, supports the program.

“The 287(g) program expands ICE’s ability to initiate immigration enforcement action against criminal aliens and those others who fall within the ICE civil immigration enforcement priorities,” said an ICE official in an emailed statement to The Times. “As such, the program acts as a force multiplier for the agency and enhances public safety in participating jurisdictions by identifying potentially dangerous criminal aliens and ensuring they are removed from the United States and not released back into our communities.”

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  • MekongDelta69

    NoBama wants the browning of America – any way that black muslim Marxist Dictator can accomplish it.

    • Yancy Derringer

      I grew up not far from Frederick. Back then it was all white and had virtually no serious crime. Now, illegal immigrant gangs? Sure, 0bama, get on with your La Raza-written (Cecilia Munoz) executive orders; there may be a few Maryland towns left that are still fairly crime-free. Disgusting.

  • Mary

    The Obama’s administration’s “enforcement priorities”? Please, they have none. The little bit they accomplish is only for show. If they could risk fully indulging their druthers, not a single one would ever be detained, deported, or punished. They are each useful in achieving the end game.

    • SentryattheGate

      Then when crime and violence goes over-the-top, the feds can instill martial law, and will get to use all those fancy military big-boy toys against American citizens who paid for their own demise!

  • JohnEngelman

    The American Civil Liberties Union says 287(g) leads to “racial profiling”

    – Kelly Riddell, Washington Times, October 7, 2014

    Good. I am glad. We need more racial profiling.

    • propagandaoftruth

      People go in, meat comes out.

    • JP Rushton

      For every one good thing the ACLU does, it seems to do 10 bad things.

    • Yancy Derringer

      When those races who are singled out get their crime rates down to the norm, they’ll no longer be profiled, overtly or otherwise. They can start with eliminating no-snitching and racial jury nullification. Meanwhile racial profiling will continue to be one of the most effective ways to reduce armed robberies, home invasions, burglaries, shoplifting, etc., etc. It’s a matter of common sense.

  • The bad news is that even when 287(g) was operational, the huge hangup was ICE itself. Most of the time, ICE won’t take them.

    • propagandaoftruth

      I just want to know how the Maryland sheriff frustrated the illegals he arrested for crimes freed by the feds…

      Did the illegals complain about the food or lack of medical attention, I wonder?

  • anony

    Does anyone need any more evidence that your government is not working for you?

  • WR_the_realist

    The ACLU says that any enforcement of immigration law is “racial profiling”. As if it was our fault that most of the illegal immigrants aren’t Swedes.

    • LHathaway

      They wouldn’t call objecting to immigration ‘racism’ if not for the fact some races more than others are immigrating – if there were not a racial component to immigration itself. All that stuff about doing things equally goes out the window if whites are disfavored. Then inequality and discrimination are promoted.

  • LHathaway

    The problem is immigration itself. I’m guessing the 25 released did not commit serious crimes. So lets get to stopping immigration. How would this work if you or I were convicted? We’d have to pay a fine to get released. And if it were you or I they would probably make it a pretty hefty fine to pay in order for us to secure our release. Well, not me, I would have to do jail time being unable to pay a fine.