Sheriff Bothered by Federal Program Setting Illegal Immigrants Free

Chuck Jenkins, Sheriff of Frederick County in Maryland, is aiming to get undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes out of his community, but his efforts, he says, are being stymied by policies from the current administration as well as groups advocating for immigrant rights. A federal program designed to equip local law enforcement agencies to aid in immigration enforcement has been releasing some of the people his deputies have been arresting.

The program known as 287(g) was created to enlist local and state law enforcement in the fight against illegal immigration. It trains officers in interviewing processes and has them submit suspects names to the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) database to determine if the suspect is an illegal immigrant. If the suspect is discovered to be here illegally, they are turned over to the ICE which then either initiates proceedings to have them deported or releases them based on the presiding agent’s assessment.

Sheriff Jenkins enrolled his department in the program believing it made simple sense to help fight the tide of illegal immigration but recently has become frustrated by the release of numerous suspects by the ICE. At the end of the Bush administration, out of 100 individuals turned over, only 2 were released. This year, out of 98 25 have been have been released.

According to statistics collected by the ICE, the number of deportations have dropped significantly in recent years, from 45,308 in 2009 to 11,767 in 2013.

Source: The Washington Times