Immigration Enforcement

287(g) Screening pays off in Tennessee

By SHERIFF DARON HALL • September 14, 2008

When an opinion column ran Feb. 2, 2007, in The Tennessean with the headline, “Here is a tool to help the sheriff keep the community safer,” it could not have been more right. There is no doubt that our city is safer since the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office implemented the 287(g) program.

In the first 16 months of operation, 4,000 illegal immigrants (who committed crimes, were arrested and brought to jail) have been placed in removal proceedings. Of those, more than half had previous arrests.

During summer 2006, Nashville residents became frustrated after hearing of more than half a dozen homicides committed by illegal immigrants — many of whom had previous arrests on misdemeanor charges, but had been released from jail. Critics of the 287(g) program argue we should ignore the immigration status of arrestees until they commit a serious crime. I believe that is too late.

We regularly see evidence that screening all foreign-born arrestees pays off. Just last week, Juan Carlos Garcia was arrested for a misdemeanor crime. He was first arrested in Nashville for a misdemeanor and released before the implementation of 287(g). Between last week’s arrest and his first arrest, Garcia was charged and convicted of felony sexual assault of a child in Houston, Texas. Upon returning to Nashville, he was required to register as a sex offender — which he did not do. This is just one example of a low-level offender that is removed from the streets of Nashville because we screen all foreign-born arrestees. Would you have wanted him released? Without 287(g), he would have been.

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September 15, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

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