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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    N.C. torn on system to deport illegals

    http://www.gallatinnewsexaminer.com/app ... 309/MTCN04

    Saturday, 09/09/06

    N.C. torn on system to deport illegals
    Model for Metro jail's immigrant checks draws civil rights concerns


    By CHRISTIAN BOTTORFF
    Staff Writer


    A system that Nashville's main jail wants to use to increase the number of illegal immigrants who are deported is getting mixed reviews in Charlotte, N.C., where it has been in place for about five months.

    Some officials praise the program as a common-sense approach that gets rid of criminals who should not be in the country in the first place.

    But others worry that it alienates a community already mistrustful of police and could be vulnerable to abuse by law enforcement.

    "If an officer arrests the same guy over and over again who is maybe illegal and maybe a nuisance, are they going to find something and pin it on him and bring him to the sheriff in order to be deported?" asked Jennifer Roberts, a Mecklenburg County commissioner who voted to allow the sheriff to run the program.

    Roberts said she had not received any specific complaints that the program had been abused by police officers.

    Commissioner Dumont Clarke said the program was effective.

    "I think that we really don't want persons who are charged with crimes to also be here illegally," he said. "My view is that we don't want those persons here in our community."

    After learning about the program in Charlotte, Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall asked federal authorities to place a federal immigration computer system in the Metro Jail that would allow deputies to quickly identify criminal suspects who are in the country illegally.

    The program also calls for a federal immigration officer to be assigned full time to the Metro Jail.

    If the person arrested can't produce documentation to show that he is a U.S. citizen, or can't appropriately answer where he was born and where he went to high school, he will be checked against the federal database. At that point, anyone with an immigration hold or with past immigration or criminal violations would be turned over to federal authorities for deportation proceedings.

    Nashville's request for the federal system comes after several high-profile crimes in which illegal immigrants were arrested. In some cases, the illegal immigrants had been arrested previously but never turned over to immigration authorities.

    Local officials say they notify federal immigration officials about every foreign-born person who is booked into Metro Jail but that only rarely are they asked to hold an inmate.

    The new system would allow sheriff's deputies to quickly do immigration checks on all foreign-born prisoners.

    Nashville's request is awaiting approval by the Department of Homeland Security.

    Some members of the Charlotte community worry that the program could create a rift between government and the Latino community.

    "The Latino community thinks it is contradictory," said Angeles Ortega-Moore, executive director of the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte. "On the one hand, they want us here to work. But on the other hand, they want us out of your country. They're putting out a welcome mat with a big barbed wire around it."

    Since its establishment, more than 450 illegal immigrants have been turned over to federal authorities for deportation proceedings, according to Nashville officials who reviewed the program.

    Mecklenburg County's board of commissioners unanimously approved the program. But Commissioner Roberts says she now has some questions about whether the program is being applied fairly in the community.

    One issue is whether Charlotte's police officers are now arresting individuals for minor crimes when they suspect they're illegal, when in the past the same suspect would have gone free with only a written citation.

    "That's one of the possible unforeseen consequences," Roberts said.

    Commissioner Clarke said he was less concerned about the social costs.

    "There are certainly potential consequences like that," Clarke said. "But that's certainly a potential with anyone."

    Clarke also said he didn't think police officers were abusing the program. "I think our police officers understand that their role is to arrest people for committing crimes," he said. "They do not see themselves out on the streets as immigration enforcement officers."

    Mecklenburg County Sheriff's officials did not return calls seeking comment, but in a statement on the department's Web site, Sheriff Jim Pendergraph said: "If it were not for the immigration program we have in place at our jail, these individuals would continue to live in our communities, committing crime, and preying on the citizens of Mecklenburg County."

    One Nashville-area immigrant rights group is concerned that illegal immigrants booked on minor crimes could be deported, leaving taxpayers to care for their families.

    Stephen Fotopulos, policy director of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, said that while his organization opposes crime, "the last thing they want to do is deport a hard-working breadwinner so that a family is dependent on the state." •
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    Senior Member gofer's Avatar
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    Stephen Fotopulos, policy director of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, said that while his organization opposes crime, "the last thing they want to do is deport a hard-working breadwinner so that a family is dependent on the state."
    This Steven guy is a left-wing young kid whose ideolgy is misguided. Here's an idea....the family can go with him. And who says we have to support them. There's many a hard-working American who had the breadwinner lose his job or become disabled and the other family members have to go find a job and help out. You notice every time there is a reference to any of these people...."hard-working" is always thrown in.

  3. #3
    lateone's Avatar
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    I second the motion - have him take his illegal wife and his anchor babies with him. :P

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    Stephen Fotopulos, policy director of the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, said that while his organization opposes crime, "the last thing they want to do is deport a hard-working breadwinner so that a family is dependent on the state."
    In theory, at least, that is not even a problem.... owing to the new legislation which passed within the last year or so that mandates all recipients of social welfare programs (well, most) prove legal residency or citizenship by presentation of valid and required ID ... in theory. So, if the law is being enforced as intended, there would be no dependence on the government anyway (eg. the family would not be eligible regardless...)
    ...I want to move to theory, everything works....'in theory'.

    This guy works day-in, day-out, with 'immigrants' and doesn't even know about the proof of citizenship to receive welfare and other benefits????
    Oh, yes, he nominally...'opposes crime' ? - uh-huh. Sir, you cannot simultaneously deplore crime while aiding and abetting the same - doesn't make sense.

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  5. #5
    MW
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    "If an officer arrests the same guy over and over again who is maybe illegal and maybe a nuisance, are they going to find something and pin it on him and bring him to the sheriff in order to be deported?" asked Jennifer Roberts, a Mecklenburg County commissioner who voted to allow the sheriff to run the program.
    I sure hope so, such people should be deported. Well, actually all illegal immigrants should be deported!


    "The Latino community thinks it is contradictory," said Angeles Ortega-Moore, executive director of the Latin American Coalition in Charlotte. "On the one hand, they want us here to work. But on the other hand, they want us out of your country. They're putting out a welcome mat with a big barbed wire around it."
    I'm getting tired of hearing how we're putting out a welcome mate for illegal immigrants. Illegal immigration is on the books as an illegal act, which means there is no official welcoming mat! Now, scumbag employers whom ignore the law may be putting out the welcoming mat to draw cheap labor, but they are do so without consideration of the law. I repeat, officially THERE IS NO WELCOMING MAT FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS!!

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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  6. #6

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    I'm starting to wonder if these advocates are uniformly disingenuous or
    they are just stupid. What part of criminal does Angeles Ortega-Moore
    not get? What if we send them to his house to live with him? From
    what I can read, they are not deporting people who have no
    record, so I don't think the program goes far enough.

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