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  1. #1
    JadedBaztard's Avatar
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    Jan 1970

    TX: Council considering stronger immigration enforcement

    Council considering stronger immigration enforcement

    By Katy Moore, Staff Writer
    (Created: Tuesday, March 6, 2007 11:49 PM CST)


    City officials in Carrollton are considering implementing a program that would give police officers a more active role on ridding the city of crimes committed by illegal aliens.

    Section 287 G of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows government entities and municipalities to request approval from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to step up enforcement on immigrations violations of criminals, especially those who have been arrested for violent crimes.

    The program allows local and state law enforcement agencies to identify, process and detain immigration offenders they encounter during their regular, daily law-enforcement activity. City officials say the program allows the federal government to delegate responsibilities to local and state entities that want to participate.

    Mayor Becky Miller said she thinks immigration is a federal issue but that feedback from Carrollton citizens has indicated that residents want action taken on the local level.

    For now, the city is only talking about the possibility and examining what would be required for Carrollton to participate. If approved, hiring and training of additional enforcement officers would be built into the 2007-2008 city budget.

    “I don’t know how the council will lean,” Miller said. “The chief will do some information sharing (at Tuesday’s meeting). If we do this program, I think it gives more of the tools to find out more in depth background (on arrestees).”

    That’s the pro of 287 G, Miller said. The con is that the city has to take on more responsibility for enforcement, provide funds for training and then process offenders locally.

    Carrollton’s next door neighbor, the city of Farmers Branch, already has taken steps to participate, based on comments from residents who want something done locally on the immigration front.

    Greg Vick, assistant city manager for Farmers Branch, said the city plans to train only one jailer to do the work. The hiring and training of that person already has been approved by city officials, and the city currently is working to hire for that position.

    “Depending on how quick the person gets trained, we could have them in place before the 2007-2008 budget is approved,” Vick said.

    Training would take about five weeks, Vick said, once the new staff member is hired.

    The Farmers Branch council in November voted trained a police officer to coordinate with federal officials on the enforcement of immigration law, as well as preventing illegal aliens from renting apartments and declaring English the city’s official language.

    Carrollton officials aren’t saying they’ll go to such lengths on the immigration issue, but they are cautiously approaching the idea of allocating city funds for training Carrollton officers to handle more aspects of immigration enforcement.

    City officials believe Carrollton’s participation would be a local reaction to a national problem, Miller said.

    Carrollton police chief David James said one of the drawbacks to participation in 287 G is that there aren’t any case studies at the city level and that no funding is available for cities who want to participate.

    “Even though there was a federal law passed for funding on this, it was $5 million for 287 G, but ICE is getting most of that,” James said. “I am unaware of any entity (other than ICE) that is getting funding for this.”

    Carrollton will have to hire additional detention officers who would then be trained by ICE. The four-week training program would teach those officers how to interview arrestees and research an ICE database that would be available to help determine the status of criminals arrested for crimes above a class B misdemeanor.

    Detention officers could then issue summons to appear at immigration hearings conducted by ICE.

    James said under the department’s current system, officers ask arrestees for their country of birth. If someone is born in another country, the department screens the person to find out if ICE has issued a detainer. Arrestees with detainers who are brought in for a class B misdemeanor or above are transferred to the county jail where ICE takes over.

    “The only thing that will change if we go to 287 G is that we can go further and see if people are being truthful with us and we can issue this summons to appear,” James said. “The problem is that no one is doing this at the local level, so there’s no one to tell us about it.”

    We are a temporary holding facility, and we can’t afford to hold them. (287 G) won’t do anything other than identify these people.

    Sid Fuller, Farmers Branch chief of police, said 287 G is just another way for police departments to curb violent crime in their cities.

    “I just look at it as another tool to help us do our job,” he said. “People who are here committing other crimes, even property crimes, if I have a burglary or things like that that we can remove, it’s always a good thing to have.”

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dixie's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Texas - Occupied State - The Front Line
    This is great news!!!!!

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  3. #3
    Senior Member sippy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Salt Lake City, UT
    This is awesome. I hope the former Gov. BOOSH has got to be a little nervous about this! (not that we care)
    But we all know, he is no 'True Texan'.
    "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same results is the definition of insanity. " Albert Einstein.

  4. #4
    JadedBaztard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 1970

    The thing I like is that Carrollton is a bit more affluent (bedroom community for Dallas). I'm glad those Volvo drivers are feeling my pain.

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