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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    MD - Frederick County’s immigrant arrest pact with feds under review

    Thursday, September 13, 2012
    by Katherine Heerbrandt
    Gazette.net

    Frederick County’s agreement with a federal agency to deport immigrants who are arrested and found to be in the country illegally is under review and may not be renewed in its entirety when it expires on Oct. 15, according to county Sheriff Chuck Jenkins.

    Frederick is the only county in Maryland that uses the so-called 287g program, a partnership between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and local-law enforcement agencies to deport undocumented immigrants who are arrested for crimes.

    Jenkins, a Republican, initiated the controversial program in April 2008, gaining popular support for his actions in the county and in pockets of the state, and criticism elsewhere.

    Jenkins said in an Aug. 30 email to The Gazette that modifications to the original agreement went into effect in 2009 as a result of policy changes implemented by President Barack Obama’s administration that changed the priorities of ICE detention and removal operations.

    The 287g program has two models: the detention (in local jails) model, and the task force model, in which local law-enforcement agencies works directly with ICE agents on the streets, Jenkins said. Frederick County uses both models.

    The jail model checks immigration status once a person is arrested and brought to the jail.

    “This administration has taken steps to end the task force model agreements in many jurisdictions … in my opinion there is a chance that the TFO (task force model) may be written out of the new agreement,” Jenkins said.

    CASA of Maryland, an advocacy group fighting against the program, said Obama’s policies regarding the controversial program are headed in the right direction.

    “The Obama administration recognized that the program was a mistake, and is now taking steps to defund it,” said Gustave Andrade, executive director of CASA.

    Since 2008, nearly half of the illegal immigrants arrested in Frederick County were actually deported, according to ICE.

    Of the 1,087 illegal immigrants detained at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center since 2008, 572 were removed from the country, some voluntarily to avoid prosecution for crimes, according to figures obtained by The Gazette from ICE.

    In February 2012, Jenkins estimated that 90 percent of those detained were removed from the U.S.

    Jenkins did not return calls for comment on the number of deportations.

    The numbers of those arrested and subsequently deported have dropped steadily since Jenkins signed onto the program in April 2008.

    In 2008, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office made 82 arrests; the Frederick Police Department 156; and Maryland State Police 25. Other agencies made 22 arrests for a total of 285.

    In 2009, the numbers jumped to 291, then fell to 232 in 2010; 187 in 2011; and 92 in 2012, according to figures provided by the sheriff’s office.

    An ICE advisory board met in June to recommend which agreements to renew, and ICE Director John Morton will make the final decisions, according to agency spokeswoman Nicole Navas.

    The advisory board reviewed various criteria in making the recommendations, including cost, performance, operational benefit, logistics and the ability to support the program.

    ICE currently has 64 agreements with local law-enforcement agencies in 24 states.

    “Consideration was given to each agency to ensure that their continued 287g participation results in operational efficiencies for ICE,” Navas said in an email.

    She said that the program is effective because it “expands ICE’s ability to initiate immigration enforcement action against aliens subject to removal.”

    The program has come under fire by some for its focus on removing people arrested for minor crimes.

    Of the 92 arrested in Frederick County in 2012, 72 were held on minor offenses, including driving without a license and driving while intoxicated, while the remainder were picked up for more serious offenses such as domestic violence, assault and theft.

    But Andrade of CASA said he believes the program is ineffective.

    “287g does nothing to keep our communities safe; it does nothing to help community policing. It only drives a wedge of mistrust between Maryland residents and the police who are supposed to protect them,” he said. “It is a tool for lazy law-enforcement officials.”

    Gazette.Net: Frederick County’s immigrant arrest pact with feds under review
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    CASA of Maryland, an advocacy group fighting against the program, said Obama’s policies regarding the controversial program are headed in the right direction.
    Sure they think that with their past president, Tom Perez, in the post of Assistant Attorney Geneneral insuring that their policies are implemented in every state. JMO
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

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