Results 1 to 2 of 2

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    Posts
    98,185

    Federal immigration chief: Cook County jail policy may be illegal

    Federal immigration chief: Cook County jail policy may be illegal

    BY LISA DONOVAN Cook County Reporter ldonovan@suntimes.com January 12, 2012
    Updated: January 12, 2012 8:23PM

    Cook County’s controversial illegal immigration policy, which critics say paved the way for a suspect in a deadly drunken driving crash to bond out of jail and disappear, may very well violate federal law, the nation’s immigration director said in a letter to County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

    “This ordinance undermines public safety in Cook County,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton wrote in a Jan. 4 letter to Preckwinkle. “In addition to undermining local public safety, the [ordinance] may also violate federal law.”

    The letter was dated the same day the Chicago Sun-Times and other media outlets reported the case of Saul Chavez, 36, who was charged in a deadly hit-and-run crash on the city’s Northwest Side back in June 2011. His family posted 10 percent, or $25,000, of the $250,000 bond, and he was released in late November. He hasn’t been seen since.

    In the days after Chavez’s arrest, immigration officials issued a “detainer” for him, asking that the county jail notify the agency when the suspect posted bond and to detain him up to 48 hours so agents could pick him up for possible deportation proceedings.

    But in September, a majority of county commissioners passed an ordinance instructing the jail to ignore the immigration detainers — describing the detainers as requests and not arrest warrants, as a federal court ruled earlier in the year.

    Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Preckwinkle championed the measure, saying the detainers sometimes targeted U.S. citizens and were an added expense the jail can’t afford.

    Chavez is charged in the death of William “Denny” McCann, 66, killed by an alleged drunken driver as McCann crossed a Logan Square Street last summer. McCann’s family says Chavez, who lists addresses in Chicago and outside Mexico City, would still be in custody had the county not changed its policy.

    At a news conference Thursday, Preckwinkle said her heart goes out to the McCann family, but the issue with Chavez is that his bond was too low — especially considering he had a felony drunken driving conviction on his record.

    “I want all of you to know that I’m outraged — I’m outraged by what happened to the McCann family. It’s a tragedy [that] could have been avoided,” she told reporters.

    Preckwinkle, a Democrat, said she supported a proposed amendment to the detainer ordinance — sponsored by three Republicans commissioners — that would at least allow the county sheriff to open the lines of communication with federal immigration officials. But it was unclear what that would achieve.

    The chief sponsor, Commissioner Tim Schneider, said he would seek to fine-tune his ordinance and open the door for the county to again honor the detainers.

    As for Morton, the head of federal immigration agency outlines in his letter — provided by Preckwinkle’s office Thursday — how the county ignored 268 detainers issued for jail inmates, many of whom were arrested locally for “serious and violent offenses like assault of a police officer.”

    Preckwinkle says she’s angry that the discussion of this issue has devolved into “fear-mongering.”

    “I’m angry because people are trying to use this complicated issue to divide our communities. This type of fear-mongering is distasteful, and it has no place in the public policy arena,” she said.

    Preckwinkle shook her head over the immigration chief’s letter, requesting an amendment to the ordinance “to avoid any legal conflict with federal law.”

    “I just got this letter last night, and we’re crafting a response to Mr. Morton, and we will be happy to talk to him,” Preckwinkle said. “I will just tell you I have not heard a word from him — not a phone call or letter in the last four months — so it’s fascinating I get this in the last few days.”

    Federal immigration chief: Cook County jail policy may be illegal - Chicago Sun-Times
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  2. #2
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    PARADISE (San Diego)
    Posts
    98,185

    Debate heats up over Illinois county’s policy not to detain illegal aliens for feds

    Debate heats up over Illinois county’s policy not to detain illegal immigrants for feds

    By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, January 13, 9:23 AM

    CHICAGO — Controversy over a Cook County ordinance that forbids the sheriff from notifying federal officials when they’re about to release suspected illegal immigrants from jail is heating up after a suspect charged in a fatal hit-and-run posted bail and disappeared.

    Amid reports that Saul Chavez, an illegal immigrant, hasn’t been seen since late last year when his family posted bail, the nation’s top immigration official and the board president of the county that includes Chicago have squared off with dueling statements about the ordinance passed last September.

    “This ordinance undermines public safety in Cook County and hinders (the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s) ability to enforce the nation’s immigration laws,” wrote the agency’s director, John Morton, in a letter to County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “In addition to undermining local public safety, the Ordinance may also violate federal law.”

    Preckwinkle, though, responded in a news release that it isn’t fair to link Chavez’s immigration status with his disappearance, calling it a “red herring.”

    Preckwinkle said she is bothered by the case, not because of Chavez’s immigration status, but because his bail was set too low for someone with a prior felony conviction and who posed a flight risk.

    “Some have tried to blame Chavez’s immigration status, but what allowed Chavez to escape prosecution was an attainable bond that didn’t take into account his criminal history and flight risk,” she said in the news release.

    Cook County has been at the center of the debate over the treatment of illegal immigrants for several months. While other places, such as San Francisco, have passed similar measures in response to the Obama administration’s program that aims to pursue more criminal deportations, Cook County was the first to forbid a sheriff from holding suspected felons as well as those accused of misdemeanors.

    Proponents say the county’s previous practice of holding immigrants in jail after they served their time or posted bail until federal agents could pick them up was unfair and unconstitutional.

    “By refusing the detain people who are entitled to their freedom, based merely on a request from (immigration agents) we are upholding our system of justice,” Jesus Garcia, a commissioner who supported the measure, said in a statement at the time.

    But critics have said the ordinance is a disaster waiting to happen, that ultimately an illegal immigrant who otherwise could have been held by federal authorities is going to walk out of jail and commit another crime.

    “This is our Willie Horton moment in Cook County,” warned Commissioner Timothy Schneider at the time he voted against the ordinance, referring to the convicted killer who raped a woman after being released as part of a Massachusetts program.

    In her news release this week, Preckwinkle said the problem has nothing to do with immigration and everything to do with an overwhelmed criminal justice system. Judges, she said, have to make decisions “in an instant, without access to the appropriate level of information upon which to base their decision.”

    As a result, Preckwinkle has called for the Cook County Judicial Advisory Council to conduct a six-month study on how bail is set in the county. According to a statement by Preckwinkle, one of the goals is to provide judges with more complete information about defendants before they decide on bail.

    Debate heats up over Illinois county’s policy not to detain illegal immigrants for feds - The Washington Post
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •