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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    TN: Davidson County's rate of deporting immigrants for minor

    Davidson County's rate of deporting immigrants for minor offenses is among highest

    10:33 PM, Feb. 1, 2011 | 112Comments

    Written by
    Brian Haas Filed Under
    News Nashville Area

    Davidson County has one of the highest rates in the nation of deporting illegal immigrant traffic offenders — not violent criminals — under its 287(g) program, according to a report by an immigrant rights group.

    The report released Monday by the Migration Policy Institute found that only five other agencies in the nation deport a higher percentage of traffic offenders under the program, which allows local governments to begin federal deportation proceedings for undocumented immigrants arrested for crimes.

    From Oct. 1, 2009, through Aug. 2, 2010, almost 80 percent of the suspected undocumented immigrants processed by the Davidson County Sheriff's Office in the 287(g) program had been arrested on misdemeanor or traffic offenses, the report said.

    In contrast, 60 percent or more of offenders processed for deportation under two programs in California and Nevada were arrested for serious crimes such as murder, robbery and drugs.

    The numbers appear to contradict the publicly stated purpose of the 287(g) program, which is to allow local law enforcement to deport the most dangerous undocumented immigrants.

    The Migration Policy Institute is recommending that the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement sever its ties with agencies that don't refocus their efforts on the most dangerous criminals instead of minor and traffic offenders.

    "It does make sense to find and detain and remove people who are public safety threats," said Randy Capps, senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute. "But fishing without a license doesn't fit that definition."
    Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said the criticism is misguided and misinformed. He said the jail screens everyone who goes through the system and federal officials determine who will be deported, not jailers.

    "They audit us, they inspect us from (Washington) D.C. They come all the time. For people to say it's not following the goals of the federal government, that's wrong, that's not true," Hall said.

    "The county hasn't changed anything, it screens everybody. The federal government across the country determines the prioritization of who is removed."

    But Hall's program has been criticized for years for statistics that skew heavily toward minor crimes and traffic offenses.

    Gregg Ramos, a Nashville attorney and a former member of the sheriff's 287(g) advisory panel, said Hall didn't listen to the group's concerns about those numbers. The sheriff disbanded the panel in June after three years, saying the group was too hard to work with.

    "I always said to the sheriff, 'I will be the biggest cheerleader for 287(g) if you in fact focus on dangerous criminals in our community and forget about these minor offenders, in particular traffic offenders,' " Ramos said.

    Focus was serious crimesICE began the 287(g) program in 1996 to allow local law enforcement to detain illegal immigrants, file immigration charges and begin the deportation process.

    The focus was to "enhance the safety and security of communities by addressing serious criminal activity such as violent crimes, human smuggling, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics smuggling and money laundering" involving illegal immigrants.
    Davidson County joined the program in 2007 in the aftermath of the high-profile case of Gustavo Garcia Reyes, an illegal immigrant and serial drunken driver who killed a Mt. Juliet couple in 2006.

    Hall, in a 2007 Tennessean opinion piece, laid out his perspective on the 287(g) program, including the notion that he would focus on minor crimes in addition to serious crimes.

    "Many want to debate that someone shouldn't be screened if they are only jailed for lower-level charges," Hall wrote at the time. "History has proven that misdemeanor offenders' crimes often escalate into serious violations."

    Hall said the program hasn't changed since then and has had the blessing of ICE ever since. ICE declined to address Davidson County's program specifically but reiterated that its goal is to focus resources on "the most dangerous threats to the community."

    L.A. targets violence
    While Davidson County was found to have high percentages of traffic and misdemeanor cases in its 287(g) program, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office focuses almost solely on violent crimes and processes the criminals for deportation only after they're found guilty.

    Some immigrants convicted of minor crimes do end up deported, but about 60 percent of those removed were convicted of felonies, according to the Migration Policy Institute report.

    The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was the only agency to top Los Angeles in terms of removing violent criminals and felons. More than 70 percent of those deported in Las Vegas were jailed for violent crimes or serious felonies.

    "If you have two people in front of you, a DUI or a murderer, it's going to be the murderer," spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

    Hall maintains that his office is powerless over who is removed under 287(g). But the institute's Capps said agencies do make choices that affect who gets deported.

    "The choice is who gets the detainer (immigration hold) and who is taken into ICE's custody," he said. "There are jurisdictions where the sheriff's office or police department chose not to put detainers on everybody that they encounter who could be removed.

    "They want to focus their resources, either because ICE has told them that they don't have the detention space or because they want their program targeted."

    Hall argues that his program, in spite of the large number of traffic and misdemeanor cases, has been a success.

    "I think the program, as has been said before is … one of the model 287(g) programs. It has been extremely effective," he said.

    "We have reduced the percentage of people who have been arrested for crimes and are in the country illegally by 57 percent. We're implementing the law as it has been intended."
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  2. #2
    Senior Member nomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    NC and Canada. Got a foot in both worlds
    "Many want to debate that someone shouldn't be screened if they are only jailed for lower-level charges," Hall wrote at the time. "History has proven that misdemeanor offenders' crimes often escalate into serious violations."
    Uh excuse me, are AMERICANS screened when they are booked into jail? YES, they check AFIS and the entire US databases to see if there are outstanding warrants. Their fingerprints are run to see that the person is really who they say they are.

    If this is perfectly fine for LEGAL Americans, why should ILLEGAL invaders be exempt? The law applies for everyone, or it applies for no one! You can bet your bottom dollar that if I as an American citizen ever got booked into jail (God forbid...LOL!) for something I know illegals do not get booked for, I'll sue the pants off of the State, Governor, and law enforcement department!

    I'm beginning to believe that until more Americans start to sue to enforce the laws equally, the ACLU and OBL "rights" organizations are going to keep running right over us. We have rights, they do not, although you would be right in assuming it's the other way around! Contrary to what they believe they ARE NOT above the law. Where are all the attorneys that should be representing us?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    This whole deal is BOGUS from the start

    The law reads that if your illegally present in this country , then the penalty is DEPORTATION , It says nothing of just violent criminals or anything else , If your illegal you GO.

    It appears Nappy and ICE are re writing the laws to fit their goals of not deporting ANYONE.

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