Immigration Enforcement

The 287(g) program is working, and residents are safer because of it

By SHERIFF DARON HALL • August 12, 2008

Tennessee Voices

Manuel Garcia Delgado was arrested locally July 23 on a misdemeanor charge. He has at least 20 different aliases, was previously deported, and since 1990 has 23 prior convictions for crimes such as unlawful possession of heroin and cocaine, burglary, weapons possession, various drug trafficking and theft. These convictions were in Washington state, Oregon and Utah. Prior to 287(g) implementation, he was arrested in Davidson County for a misdemeanor crime and released.

Also screened by our program was David Medina-Velasquez. He was arrested for no driver’s license but is an aggravated felon with criminal convictions for crimes against children in California, had previously been deported and now is facing federal prosecution.

If our program was not screening for low-level offenses, these types of individuals would still be living in our community.

Over the past 16 months, this community has supported my efforts as they relate to the 287(g) program. I appreciate the continued support and want to remind you that just over 3,500 criminal aliens have been removed from our community and there is no doubt in my mind we are safer. More than half of those removed have been previously arrested.

The five years prior to 287(g), the percentage of arrestees who were foreign-born doubled, reaching an all-time high of 12.3 percent in April 2006. There has been a 34 percent decrease in that percentage since we began the 287(g) program. This is important because much was said about the potential for misuse by law enforcement.

If you look at the numbers, there is absolutely no evidence that more foreign-born individuals are being arrested just to be checked by 287(g). The most important point in these statistics is that there has been a 41 percent reduction in percentage of those arrested and determined to be illegal — which was always a primary goal of ours.

Advocates feel 287(g) is unfair because it screens those with misdemeanor offenses. They allege this was not the original plan. That is completely untrue. From initial implementation of this program, I always said those arrested, brought to jail, and found to be in this country illegally, will be processed for removal. I never “sold” it as anything else.

For those familiar with the Juana Villegas case, there are many points that can be debated and many inconsistencies in the stories being circulated.

What I can tell you is we are sensitive to the various aspects of this case. We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding her incarceration, as we would with any where concerns are raised. In addition, we are reviewing our policies and practices to see how we can improve.

In closing, I want to further remind you what we have accomplished since this program took effect in April 2007. In the summer of 2006, more than a half-dozen murders were committed in Nashville by illegal immigrants — many of whom had been previously incarcerated on misdemeanor crimes. Since the implementation of 287(g), there hasn’t been one high profile crime committed by a criminal alien. We can only hope this trend continues.

Daron Hall is the Davidson County sheriff.

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August 13, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Tennessee needs more Sheriffs like Daron Hall.
    Our Federal Government is asleep, so we have to depend on good law enforcement agents like Hall.
    Keep up the good work!
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    Comment by DinTN | August 13, 2008

  2. I appreciate the work that Sheriff Hall and his division of government does. I have read before that the Sheriff’s Department does not arrest people. The police department arrest people who break the law. The Sheriff’s Department supervises the jail that the arrestees live in until they go to court and are ether released or get some time. If after you are arrested it can be determined that you are not in the United States legally, then deportation is an additional consequence.

    Comment by Carol Anne | August 17, 2008


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