Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran gets ICE to pick up illegals' jail tab

Lake County provides an illustration of how the 287(g) program should work:
Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran on Thursday released the results of an audit that showed a fifth of his jail population is undocumented and pressed for the power to deport them. ...

Fourteen months ago, Curran applied for certification in the federal 287(g) program, which gives local law enforcement officials deportation powers under Immigration and Customs supervision. He said he was the first sheriff in Illinois to do so, drawing criticism from groups who say the program is little more than racial profiling. ...

Curran also said the program could save the county millions. Once Immigration and Customs has a detainer on an inmate, it pays $65 to $75 daily to house the inmate in the jail. Curran said the Aug. 6 jailhouse audit found 122 of the 637 inmates were undocumented. More than 100 of those inmates were put under detainers, so the county can now apply to Immigration and Customs for reimbursement for housing those inmates—up to about $4.05 million per year.
Once ICE is notified of an illegal immigrant's residency status, the county is reimbursed for the criminal's incarceration expenses. By participating in 287, Curran is saving the county $8,500 a day. Maintaining the integrity of our national sovereignty is one of the (few) duties of the federal government explicitly stated in the Constitution, under Article 4, Section 4:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
Immigration is a federal responsibility and as such, the federal government should absorb the costs of illegal immigration. This undercuts the empty protestation that enforcement is too costly for state or local governments to employ, and thus they must take a hands-off approach until the federal government "fixes" the problem.

Although Curran's actions are being described as "controversial", it is difficult to believe the citizenry views it that way. "Controversial" is a favorite media descriptor of something favored by the right, regardless of whether or not it is more broadly favored, as is the case with immigration restrictionism.

Even open borders supporters are hard-pressed to argue that the deportation of jailed lawbreakers is a bad idea without flatly stating that all immigration laws should be uniformly ignored. To the contrary, shipping illegal criminals back home after they've completed their sentences stateside will improve the quality of the immigrant population residing in the US, thus making it less intolerable to the citizenry (but still far from being a net benefit to them). For most open borders supporters, however, quantity is more important than quality.

ICE provides a list of law enforcement organizations that have partnered with it in the 287(g) program. If yours is not included, contact your sheriff's office to find out the reason for its absence.

Split politically, the affluent county is north of Chicago's Cook County. Cook operates under a sanctuary policy. Consequently partnership in the 287 program is not under consideration.

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