Monday, October 26, 2009

Tougher rules on policing illegal immigrants

Here's another story on 287(g), which gives local law enforcement the authority to identify and detain undocumented immigrants. This is a terrible decision!


Local agencies helping with deportations must keep their focus on major crimes.

By Anna Gorman | LA Times
October 14, 2009

Reporting from Raleigh, N.C. - Luz Maria Diaz knew what happened to illegal immigrants at the Wake County jail. But her teenage daughters didn't.

So when the girls were arrested after fighting on their high school campus in September, they freely admitted that they were born in Mexico. Detention officers at the jail checked their immigration status and promptly handed them over to federal authorities.

Now Diana, 16, and her sister, Yolanda, 18, are battling to stay in the country.

"I never thought this could happen . . . for a simple fight," their mother said. "I was in shock."

The Wake County Sheriff's Department is one of eight local law enforcement agencies in North Carolina and 66 across the nation authorized by the federal government to identify illegal immigrants and process them for possible deportation under a program known as 287(g). Virginia is the only other state with more participating agencies. There are four such agreements in California, including one with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Immigrant advocates and some lawmakers have been highly critical of the program because of reports of racial profiling and civil rights violations. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has called for an end to the program.

Responding to concerns, the Obama administration announced in July that participating agencies would be subject to federal supervision and required to focus their efforts primarily on serious and violent criminals. Police agencies must sign new agreements by today. Los Angeles County sheriff's officials are still in negotiations but expect to continue immigration screening in the jails.

If police agencies fail to follow the new rules, they risk losing their enforcement authority, said Alonzo Pena, deputy assistant secretary at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

One high-profile participant, Joe Arpaio, sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona, who is being investigated by the Department of Justice, said last week that federal authorities are stripping him of his authority to make immigration arrests on the streets.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison, who joined the federal program in June 2008 and signed a new agreement Tuesday, said his deputies would continue arresting people in minor crimes, including traffic violations, if they fail to provide valid identification, and would continue checking the immigration status of foreign-born people taken to his jail. As of Oct. 1, the sheriff's staff had interviewed about 3,760 foreign-born inmates and processed about 2,650 for possible removal.

Whether immigration authorities move forward with deportation is up to them, Harrison said.

"That's an ICE problem," he said. "We're going to continue to do our job."

Wanting a better life

Diaz led her daughters across the border more than 10 years ago to seek a better life for them. If her daughters are ordered deported to Mexico, Diaz, 35, said, the whole family -- including her U.S.-born son -- will go too. She can't imagine sending her daughters alone to Mexico, a country they don't really know.

Yolanda Diaz, who was arrested on a charge of simple assault, said the arrest has dashed her plans of going to college in the United States. Her sister, Diana, arrested on a disorderly conduct charge, said she just wants to graduate from her high school.

"It's not fair," she said. "Other people have done much worse things than this."

Their attorney, Marty Rosenbluth with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, said the government's 287(g) program wasn't designed to pick up illegal immigrants like the Diaz sisters. "I appreciate that they are saying they are prioritizing dangerous criminal aliens," he said. "That is not what we are seeing."

Another one of his clients, Luis Cruz Millan, 30, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was ordered to report to an immigration officer after being arrested last month for allegedly listening to music too loudly in a car outside the Raleigh house where he was living.

He and his fiancee, Belinda Masterman, a U.S. citizen, had gotten into an argument, so Cruz went to the car to calm down. A neighbor called police, who arrested Cruz. Masterman said she begged them not to take Cruz to jail. Cruz said he believes that illegal immigrants who commit serious crimes should be deported. But, he said, "I never imagined I would be deported for listening to music."

One night last month, immigration attorney Jim Melo stood in front of a class of about 20 immigrants in Durham and explained how 287(g) worked and advised them what to do if stopped by police. "Outside of showing your identification, it's not necessary to answer their questions," he said.

He also warned them that different areas in North Carolina apply the law differently.

"In Wake County, if they arrest you for whatever reason -- speeding, driving without a license -- boom. There's immigration," he said.

When he was finished speaking, the audience peppered him with questions: When do you ask to see an immigration judge? Is it a crime to drive without a license? If you are arrested for driving without a license, are you in danger of deportation?

Demographic shifts

Drawn by jobs in agriculture, the textile industry and more recently construction, Latino immigrants began settling in large numbers throughout North Carolina in the 1990s, dramatically changing the demographics of the state.

Between 2005 and 2007, the state's Latino population was estimated at 596,000, up from 77,000 in 1990, according to U.S. Census data. In some areas, including Alamance County, the large influx of immigrants created tension with longtime residents.

Many new Latino residents moved into the towns of Burlington and Graham, finding jobs, starting families and opening businesses. But along with those immigrants looking for work, Sheriff Terry Johnson said, other new arrivals began committing crimes. And because the federal government wasn't enforcing immigration law, Johnson said, he had to.

Since the county joined the 287(g) program in 2007 and many illegal-immigrant drug traffickers and gang members have been arrested and deported, Johnson said, violent crime has dropped. "Immigrants know if you come to Alamance County for the purpose of committing crime, we are going to get you," he said.

One day last month, occupants of the Alamance County Jail -- which also holds ICE detainees from other counties awaiting deportation -- included a man who had been deported three times and another illegal immigrant who said he had served time for killing a person in a car accident.

Johnson acknowledged that not all illegal immigrants taken to the jail are suspected of violent crimes. Many are arrested on minor charges, such as driving without a license. If the traffic or criminal case is dismissed, illegal immigrants are turned over to ICE for possible deportation.

The sheriff's decision to sign up for the federal program earned him respect from longtime residents but created a sense of fear among immigrants.

Galvanized by several high-profile arrests and deportations, several activists formed a group called Fairness Alamance to challenge the sheriff and county officials over 287(g). They accused the sheriff of racial profiling and using the law to get illegal immigrants accused of committing minor crimes out of the country.

"The law became a weapon in the hands of law enforcement," said Blanca Zendejas Nienhaus, a teacher and member of the group. Now, Zendejas Nienhaus said she and others are pushing for the county to abide by the federal government's new rules and target only violent criminals.

"Time and goodwill will tell if they are going to make any change," she said.


  1. Sen.Harry Reid D-NV, Nancy Pelosi D-CA, are the drum majors who failed in their objective to stifle the E-Verify law, as continued public outcry positively terminated any chance of that? E-Verification is a sophisticated tool to indirectly deport the 20 to 30 million plus from America? What’s the good of hanging around, if you are going to be verified through a government data base? Simply put! It has a self-deportation mechanism. It's time to hold your own governments feet to the proverbial fire? US workers should push to make it mandatory for every business operation, so that if caught employing illegal foreigners they should go to prison. Right now the battle lines have been drawn between--THE AMERICAN WORKERS Vs. A MULTITUDE OF PARASITE BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS AND THE OPEN BORDER LOBBYISTS. The public need to know that Opponents have a vested interest in nullifying E-Verify, so they can resume hiring discount illegal labor

    Even our law enforcement is under constant attack, such as Sheriff Joe Ariapo's illegal immigrant removal program. Any kind of federal or state legislation is mostly designed to be weakened, so it looks as though our government agencies are working for the US job seeker or even the whole population. Sheriff Joe of Maricopa County, Arizona acknowledged he would finally be ripped away from using 287 G fed law, because its working too good throughout this nation. As citizens and legal residents we must insist of our money-vulnerable politicians that 287 (g) is mandatory for every state and county police agency, that the No-Match-Letter to disclose illegal aliens working in procured US worker jobs and no cut back on ICE workplace sweeps remain in operation indefinitely? The feeble excuse is that Joe is racial profiling, but then we must take into consideration that the whole Southern border has been--ILLEGALLY COLONIZED by foreign nationals, costing states billions of dollars. Such as Obama's Democratic leadership secretly trying to enclose language in the public option health care available to illegal immigrants. In the end we all know that illegal immigrants will wheedle their way into health care, because Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein and the majority Dem's cater to them. It's a sorry story when these people get preference over our own people, so it will be a battle all the way? Emergency care! Yes! But not filtering into the American people's one chance at Universal health care?

    The feral business organizations have been unable to state that E-Verify is racist or profiling by religion or any other adverse criteria, as this piece of software is unable to discriminate In previous court appearances the ACLU, Council of Foreign Relations, the Associated Builders and Contractors, Immigration attorney Associations, the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Council on International Personnel, and the HR Policy Association, and a mishmash of open border groups has stumped themselves for some way to delay implementation of the E-Verify program? The 15 million unemployed citizens and legal residents now know who are the enemy that we are up against? The American public must stop the demand for the unceasing influx of impoverished labor for these companies?

  2. Everybody who needs to hire illegal labor should be identified, just as large businesses are exposed by ICE agents.
    Mandatory implementation of E-Verify should not just for federal contractors/subcontractors are should be propagated for everybody who wields a wrench, a pen, a computer or anything else in the diversified working space? In other words--IT SHOULD BE FOR EVERY WORKER, MANAGER, and SUPERVISOR OR EXECUTIVE IN THIS COUNTRY? The magnet is businesses that draw the illegal cheap job-hunters across the borders into the clutches of exploiting employers. I have heard from countless US workers, who have been dropped to make way for cheaper labor in every category of jobs, including higher career positions. Even day labor sites such as Home Depots, Lowes or anywhere these people congregate should be also verified through an E-Verify portable application. Small contractors or a
    American employers should--ONLY--be able to solicit for highly skilled tradesman and proven scientists and engineers, under the eye of government labor departments. Europe has adopted a method of selecting specialty workers through a points system that is also being used by other industrialized nations.

    United Kingdom first introduced a point’s based system in 2002 called the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP). Immigrants can come to the British Islands under this scheme without a sponsor or previous job offer if they can score enough points based on age, education, and past earnings. Australia uses its General Skilled Migration program to attract migrants from across the globe to help alleviate labor shortages, both in trade occupations and highly skilled professional occupations. Canada Potential immigrants can score points based on previous education (both University and Trade school qualifications). New Zealand immigration authorities assess immigrants chances of success based on their occupation and whether it conforms to what the country deems to be future growth areas and sectors experiencing labor shortages. Other countries, such as Germany and France, require a job offer and other stringent requirements for migrants from outside the European Union.

    American workers have been paying a price for at least two decades, because thousands of companies had resisted paying for health care? Instead maimed workers especially in manual forms of labor are carted to the nearest emergency hospital for treatment, so the outcome being the employer is resolved from any responsibility and the taxpayer absorbs the medical debt. WHEN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FORCE OUR INCOMPETENT POLITICIANS TO INTRODUCE E-VERIFY AS A PERMANENT ADDITION TO THE IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT ARSENAL, ILLEGAL ALIENS WITHOUT JOBS WILL LEAVE IN DROVES. But their must be substantial penalties for--NOT--using E-Verify, such as heavy fines and prison for many violations.

    Internal ICE enforcement on a grand scale must become a daily event, as they investigate violations within the working communities. ONE CERTAIN WAY TO HALT THE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION, IS BY CHANGING THE CIVIL LAW TO CRIMINAL AS A CLASS ONE FELONY FOR ENTERING AMERICA WITHOUT PERMISSION AS IN SENSIBLE FOREIGN COUNTRIES?

  3. A new poll by Zogby International has found people across our border believe an amnesty that would grant legal status to illegal immigrants would prompt more people to enter the U.S. illegally, the Center for Immigration Studies (CRS) stated. Another new survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports reveals that 56% of Americans say that federal immigration policies encourage illegal immigration, and 64% believe that local law enforcement should conduct raids in places where illegal aliens gather to find work. Only 19% opposed the raids compared to 24% who opposed such raids back in April.


    Then we have Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, a Democrat from Chicago, has been on the road most weekends since last December trying to beckon people towards forging a favorable immigration reform package. However, it seems --IF--the bill ever becoming a reality while millions of Americans are without work or given up hoping to find a job, the financial impact will be overpowering--as well as insane. VIEW THE LIST OF LAWMAKERS WHO HAVE SIGNED ON TO COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM AT THESE CONGRESSMAN/ WOMEN WANT TO STEAL YOUR JOB AND GIVE IT TO ILLEGAL ALIENS? KEEP THEM EMBOSSED IN YOUR MEMORY AND UNSEAT THEM WHEN THEY COME FORWARD FOR RE-ELECTION.

    Call and blast your Senators and Representative at 202-224-3121 in Washington. Jamming the switchboard with your calls, as it is having an outstanding effect of--MILLIONS of angry voters on legislators. THEY ARE BEGINNING TO LISTEN AND REACT? INFORM THEM TO DO THEIR DUTY OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES ON RE-ELECTION DAY? Tell them you want PERMANENT E-Verify for--EVERY WORKER, a secure double layer fence and--REAL--enforcement against sanctuary state policies. Read undisclosed facts, statistics and lawmakers immigration enforcement grades of politicians at NUMBERSUSA. UNEARTH the corruption in government at JUDICIAL WATCH. Your voice is needed to halt OVERPOPULATION and American Worker survival. Demand NO-MORE-AMNESTIES. They should--GO--home and come through the front door, like millions of honest legal immigrants? Report any irregularities in your workplace to ICE. Be a patriotic American, Whistle-Blower and inform of illegal activity to ICE. Your job--COULD BE NEXT?

  4. The 287(g) program essentially sets up states and localities to bail out the federal government. A report by Justice Strategies, a project of the Tides Center, Inc., (nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization), states 287(g) provides no money to pay local police salaries, and it shifts immigrant detention costs to local governments. Counties that sign up for the program have found that costs skyrocket. Prince William County, Virginia spent $5 million more in local tax monies than anticipated for the first year of its 287(g) program. The county had to raise property taxes and cut police and fire safety budgets to compensate. While the economic downturn has hamstrung state and regional governments, this is an additional cost that they cannot afford.

    Moreover this program is full of injustices. In Phoenix, ICE refuses to revoke the largest 287(g) agreement, with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, despite charges of racial profiling and national criticism of his posse’s street sweeps of day laborers. Sheriff Arpaio promotes himself as the nation’s most prominent face of the 287(g) program, calling in the media to film the spectacle of thousands of detainees confined in his Tent City jail under the blazing desert sun. Meanwhile, in Berry Hill, Tennessee, a police officer arrested an immigrant driver in her last days of pregnancy, rather than issue her a routine traffic ticket. In jail, a 287(g) deputized officer issued a civil detainer to keep her locked up without bond. She went into labor while shackled to a jail hospital bed!!!

  5. Brittanicus is a troll and not even worth responding to, but TX Taxpayer is absolutely correct! 287(g) not only strains local resources, but it leads to racial profiling and spreads fear in communities. No one is safe in a society where people fear the police. Thanks for this post.

  6. It's funny how Brittanicus keeps posting the same message over and over again. It's obvious they keep this saved somewhere and just copy and paste whenever he sees fit to spread his lies and prejudice.