Immigration Enforcement

ICE adds eleven new 287(g) partnerships

Secretary Napolitano Announces New Agreement for State and Local Immigration Enforcement Partnerships & Adds 11 New Agreements Release Date: July 10, 2009

For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary Contact: 202-282-8010 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has standardized the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) used to enter into “287(g)” partnerships—improving public safety by removing criminal aliens who are a threat to local communities and providing uniform policies for partner state and local immigration enforcement efforts throughout the United States. Additionally, today ICE announced eleven new 287(g) agreements with law enforcement agencies from around the country. “This new agreement supports local efforts to protect public safety by giving law enforcement the tools to identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens,” said Secretary Napolitano. “It also promotes consistency across the board to ensure that all of our state and local law enforcement partners are using the same standards in implementing the 287(g) program.” The new MOA aligns 287(g) local operations with major ICE enforcement priorities—specifically, the identification and removal of criminal aliens. To address concerns that individuals may be arrested for minor offenses as a guise to initiate removal proceedings, the new agreement explains that participating local law enforcement agencies are required to pursue all criminal charges that originally caused the offender to be taken into custody. The new MOA also defines the objectives of the 287(g) program, outlines the immigration enforcement authorities granted by the agreement and provides guidelines for ICE’s supervision of local agency officer operations, information reporting and tracking, complaint procedures and implementation measures. “The 287(g) program is an essential component of DHS’ comprehensive immigration enforcement strategy,” said ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton. “The new agreement strengthens ICE’s oversight of the program and allows us to better utilize the resources and capabilities of our law enforcement partners across the nation.” DHS and ICE will begin working with their current 287(g) partner agencies to re-sign the standardized agreements —ultimately, only those agencies with newly signed agreements will be permitted to continue enforcing immigration law. A “sunset clause” will keep the MOA in effect for three years from the date of signing unless terminated by either party. To date, ICE has trained more than 1,000 officers operating under 66 local 287(g) agreements between DHS and law enforcement agencies nationwide. Since January 2006, these 287(g)-trained officers are credited with identifying more than 120,000 individuals, predominantly in jails, who are suspected of being in the country illegally. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) of 1996 added Section 287(g) to the Immigration and Nationality Act, which authorizes the DHS Secretary to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies to perform immigration officer functions. Pursuant to these MOAs, designated officers who receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of sworn ICE officers are permitted to perform immigration law enforcement duties.

The eleven new agreements are with the following jurisdictions: Gwinnett (GA) County Sheriff’s Department.; Monmouth (NJ) County Sheriff’s Office; Rhode Island Department of Corrections; Delaware Department of Corrections – Sussex Correctional Institution; Houston Police Department; City of Mesquite (NV) Police Department; Morristown (NJ) Police Department; City of Mesa (AZ) Police Department; Florence (AZ) Police Department; Guilford County (NC) Sheriff’s Office; Charleston County (SC) Sheriff’s Office.

July 12, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Employer use of federal E-Verify program on the rise

By William M. Welch, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — Construction company CEO David Dominguez no longer worries about inadvertently hiring workers who are in this country illegally. That’s because he uses E-Verify, the federal program that allows him to quickly check the legal status of potential employees.

Dominguez, who builds residential interiors in Arizona and California, said that as word gets around about the program, job applicants without legal status avoid businesses such as his, Andrew Lauren Co., which use E-Verify.

“The system works,” Dominguez said. His San Diego-based company has been using E-Verify for several years in hiring office workers and laborers.

The voluntary federal program has seen a rapid growth in use this year, Department of Homeland Security records show. More than 1,000 employers are signing up each week on average, and employment checks are approaching 200,000 a week.

Use rises each year

“If the goal is not to hire illegal citizens, then you should have it,” Dominguez said.

Halfway through this year 5.5 million worker checks have been made by employers through the E-Verify online service. In 2008, 6.6 million checks were made, twice the number in 2007.

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June 24, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

New ICE program enhances identifying and removing criminal aliens in Fairfax County

Now criminal and immigration records of all detainees to be checked

FAIRFAX, Va. -Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies have been added to a growing list of jurisdictions throughout the country that are receiving access to a program called Secure Communities, administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Fairfax County is the first location in the Washington Metropolitan Area and the first in Virginia to participate. Secure Communities will streamline the process for ICE to determine if an individual in local custody is a potentially removable criminal alien.

Beginning today, the immigration records in DHS’s biometric database, if any, of every individual booked in the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center and other sites in the county will be checked. Formerly as part of that booking process, arrestees’ fingerprints were taken and checked for criminal history information against the DOJ biometric system maintained by the FBI. With the implementation of Secure Communities, the fingerprints of arrested individuals will now be automatically checked against both the FBI’s criminal history records and the biometrics-based immigration records maintained by DHS.

If an individual’s fingerprints match those of a person in DHS’s biometric system, the new automated process will notify ICE and the participating agency submitting the fingerprints. ICE will evaluate each case to determine the individual’s immigration status and take appropriate enforcement action. Top priority will be given to offenders who pose a threat to the public safety, such as aliens with prior convictions for major drug offenses, murder, rape, robbery, and kidnapping.

“Secure Communities is a new effort to identify and ultimately remove dangerous criminal aliens from our communities,” said Executive Director for ICE Secure Communities David Venturella. “Our goal with this ICE program is to use technology to prevent criminal aliens from being released back into the community, with little or no additional burden on our local law enforcement partners.”

“This is a win-win situation both for the community and law enforcement,” said Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry. “We will be able to identify illegal immigrants who commit crimes in Fairfax County and get them in the process for deportation, and it does not require additional funds or manpower from us.”

Secure Communities enhances the ongoing joint efforts by ICE and the law enforcement agencies in Virginia. Eventually, in collaboration with DOJ and other DHS components, ICE plans to expand this capability to all state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. Approximately 50 counties nationwide are current Secure Communities participants.

Secure Communities is the cornerstone of DHS’s comprehensive plan to distribute technology that links local law enforcement agencies to both FBI and DHS biometric systems. DHS’s US VISIT Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) holds biometrics-based immigration records, while the FBI’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) contains biometric-based criminal records.

“US VISIT is proud to support the Secure Communities program, helping provide decision makers with comprehensive, reliable information when and where they need it,” said US VISIT Director Robert Mocny. “By enhancing the interoperability of DHS’s and the FBI’s biometric systems, we are able to give federal, state and local decision makers information that helps them better protect our communities and our nation.”

“Under this plan, ICE will be utilizing FBI system enhancements that allow improved information sharing at the state and local law enforcement level based on positive identification of incarcerated criminal aliens. Additionally, ICE and the FBI are working together to take advantage of the strong relationships already forged between the FBI and state and local law enforcement necessary to assist ICE in achieving their goals,” said FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) former Assistant Director Tom Bush.

Secure Communities is a key facet of ICE’s enforcement priority to identify, locate and remove criminal aliens and builds on the growing success of the agency’s Criminal Alien Program. In fiscal year 2008, ICE identified more than 221,000 potentially removable aliens incarcerated nationwide. This fiscal year, the agency anticipates spending more than $1 billion on such efforts, which in addition to Secure Communities, also includes expansion of the agency’s Criminal Alien Program and Fugitive Operations Program.

More information about ICE’s Secure Communities program is available at www.ice.gov.

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March 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lake Co. Illinois Criminal Alien program leads to 260 deportation cases

By identifying illegal aliens arrested in Lake County as soon as they come into the criminal justice system, the federal Criminal Alien Program has resulted in 260 deportation cases being opened since Sept. 1, Sheriff Mark Curran and other officials said Tuesday.

Administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement branch of the Department of Homeland Security, CAP allows ICE to place a detainer on any illegal immigrant arrested for a felony offense.

The detainer places an indelible mark on an inmate’s paperwork that follows him or her through the system, and upon completion of the criminal proceedings against the inmate, results in their immediate transfer to ICE for deportation.

“The cost of illegal immigration to law enforcement and the criminal justice system is astronomical,” said Curran, who touted the program at the Lake County jail as proof of the results of local law enforcement cooperation with the federal government. “We are a nation of immigrants, but we are a nation of laws as well, and we are enforcing the law in Lake County.”

Curran said CAP is different from the ICE 287g program he has also applied to be a part of, because unlike 287g, his employees do not receive power to do any functions usually performed by ICE agents.

Gail Montenegro, public affairs officer for the six-state area covered by ICE’s Chicago office, said the CAP program resulted in the opening of 221,085 deportation cases last year, up from 164,296 in 2007.

Not all those targeted for deportation have left the country, she said, because ICE waits for jail or prison sentences imposed on convicted criminals to be served before removing them from the country.

In Lake County, Curran said roughly 20 percent of the jail population at any given time is made up of illegal aliens and that there are currently 152 foreign-born individuals in his custody.

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February 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Immigration inquiries at N.C. jails removes criminal illegal aliens

More than 2,000 people arrested for violating state laws in the past year were flagged for deportation once they went to jail.

Jailers started checking inmates’ immigration status after a state law took effect last year requiring them to check identities of foreign-born people charged with felonies or driving while impaired.

In addition to the 2,099 destined to be deported last year, another 2,733 illegal immigrant inmates were identified through a partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, according to the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association.

From October 2007 to the end of 2008, 7,000 people in the Atlanta region faced removal proceedings because they were found to be here illegally through local jail and prison checks, according to ICE. The Atlanta region is made up of North and South Carolina and Georgia.

Overall, the number of identity queries run by jails nearly tripled between 2007 and 2008 to 16,996.

State jails ran nearly 17,000 queries, but immigration officials only interviewed a total of 6,884 of those inmates, the sheriffs’ association reported.

The inmate immigration checks became a requirement after a law sponsored by state Sen. Julia Boseman, D-New Hanover took effect last year. She had sponsored the legislation in response to voters’ demands for a crackdown on unlawful immigration after the federal government failed to reform the law.

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January 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

McDowell County North Carolina Sheriff’s Office teams with feds to deport illegal immigrants

Published: January 25, 2009

The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office is onboard with a federal program that pinpoints illegal immigrants and earmarks them for deportation.
The 287(g) Program, which takes its name from Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996, is designed to authorize state and local law enforcement officers to act as immigration agents.
Eight county agencies in North Carolina serve as “hubs” for all the other local departments across the state. Those eight have entered into Memorandums of Understanding with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, and authorities with those agencies have received specialized federal ICE training that allows them to investigate whether or not an individual is an illegal alien and can be removed from the U.S.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office serves as the “hub” for McDowell and all of western North Carolina.
McDowell’s county jailers, as well as other Sheriff’s Office officials, have been trained in new technology developed to aid 287(g).
“We’ve been involved since I was sworn in (in May), but we’ve been moving in this direction for some time,” said McDowell County Sheriff Dudley Greene. “We’ve been getting everyone trained on the computer system, so it has taken a while.”
He added that the program doesn’t dictate that deputies go out looking for illegals, only to check foreign-born suspects when they’ve been arrested.

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January 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Guilford North Carolina to join 287(g) criminal deportation program

Thursday, January 15

( updated 3:29 pm)

GREENSBORO – Illegal immigrants arrested on criminal charges in Guilford County could be deported when the sheriff’s office begins a version of the 287(g) immigration program in the spring, Sheriff BJ Barnes said.

The program, which is a cooperative partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is designed to allow a local law enforcement officer to check a suspect’s citizenship and detain them for deportation.

“That officer will have the authority of an ICE agent and access to their database, which was what we were looking for,” said Barnes, who first applied for the 287(g) program in April 2007. A federal grant would pay for the program in Guilford.

Full-blown versions of the controversial 287(g) program, which are operating in Alamance, Wake, Mecklenburg and Gaston counties, allows those counties to hold illegal immigrants until they are handed over to ICE officials.

Barnes said Guilford County will have a “hybrid” 287(g) program, not a full-blown program that keeps illegals in jail for an extended period.

“It’s an offshoot to where we have access to 287 information,” Barnes said. “So say, if we arrest someone for breaking into a house, we can see if they are here legally or illegally.”

Under the program to begin in April, Barnes said suspects found to be illegal immigrants would not be released on bond but would be held locally until their criminal charge is resolved in court.

Once that happens, the suspects would then be handed over to ICE officials for the deportation process.

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January 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bush Administration Caves into Pressure and Delays E-Verify Regulation for Federal Contractors

Last week, the Bush Administration announced its intent to postpone a new regulation set to go into effect January 15th that would have required virtually all federal contractors to use E-Verify, the voluntary program run by the Department of Homeland Security that helps employers verify the work authorization of employees. (The Hill, January 9, 2009).   Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff first announced the E-Verify regulation August 10, 2008, stating he wanted the government to “lead by example.”  (Remarks by Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, August 10, 2008).  The move was hailed by true immigration reformers as a significant step towards curbing the employment of illegal aliens and reducing the taxpayer subsidy of illegal immigration.

However, as the effective date neared in late December , a coalition of special interest groups filed a lawsuit to block the rule from taking effect as scheduled. The plaintiffs included various organizations that have routinely sought to impede interior enforcement of our immigration laws, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc.; the Society for Human Resource Management; the American Council on International Personnel; and the HR Policy Association. (To read more about this lawsuit, read FAIR’s Legislative Update).

In the face of this lawsuit, Homeland Security announced it will postpone the effective date of these new regulations to February 20, 2009.  A DHS Spokesman said the Department did not think the Chamber of Commerce and others would prevail with their lawsuit, and said “[the] pause merely allows litigants the opportunity to make their case before a judge, and prevents parties opposed to the rule from additional stalling through litigation.”  (The Hill, January 9, 2009).  More than 100,000 employers are already using E-Verify, with an estimated 1,000 new employers signing up each week.

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January 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 3 Comments

Kentucky restaurant owner sentenced to 8 months for employing illegal aliens

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The owner of a LaGrange restaurant was sentenced Tuesday to eight months in federal prison following his guilty plea to knowingly employing illegal aliens. This sentence resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Fei Guo Tang, 38, of LaGrange, Ky., is the owner of Jumbo Buffet located at 1218 Market St. in LaGrange. He was sentenced Jan. 6 by U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Simpson III, Western District of Kentucky, to eight months in prison for employing illegal aliens at his restaurant. Tang was also sentenced to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison.

Tang had pleaded guilty to knowingly employing at least 10 illegal aliens at his restaurant between November 2006 and November 2007 for commercial advantage and financial gain. He was arrested Nov. 14, 2007, when ICE agents executed a search warrant at his restaurant. During the search warrant ICE agents seized about $59,000 from the restaurant, which will be forfeited to the United States, and detained six illegal aliens found working at the restaurant, who have since been deported.

ICE agents initiated the investigation in December 2006 after receiving credible information that illegal aliens were knowingly being employed at the Jumbo Buffet restaurant. Tang is not a U.S. citizen, and will be subject to deportation proceedings after he completes his prison sentence.

“ICE aggressively targets employers who egregiously violate immigration laws by knowingly employing an illegal alien workforce,” said Jerry Phillips, resident agent-in-charge of the ICE office of investigations in Louisville. “This case demonstrates firsthand how ICE agents use our investigative tools to pursue those who take advantage of illegal labor for personal profit, and to gain an unfair advantage in the business marketplace.”

Since it was established in 2003, ICE has dramatically enhanced its efforts to combat the unlawful employment of illegal aliens in the United States. In 2008, ICE made more than 1,100 criminal arrests tied to work-site enforcement investigations. Of those charged criminally in these types of cases, 135 were business owners, managers, supervisors, or human resource employees. In addition to the criminal arrests, ICE also took 5,100 illegal aliens into custody on administrative immigration violations during worksite investigations.

To help employers build a legal workforce, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security established an initiative called the ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers, or IMAGE. IMAGE is designed to build cooperative relationships between the government and businesses, strengthen hiring practices, and reduce the unlawful employment of illegal aliens. The initiative also seeks to gain greater industry compliance and corporate due diligence through enhanced training and education of employers. ICE encourages employers to review the IMAGE program materials available at: www.ice.gov.

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January 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

28 criminals deported from Las Vegas under 287g in first month

Immigration officials deported 28 foreign-born Clark County jail inmates during the first month of a new partnership with the Metropolitan Police Department.

The partnership, which officially began Nov. 15, allows specially trained corrections officers at the Clark County Detention Center to identify immigration violators and start deportation proceedings against them.

Through mid-December, 882 people booked into the jail were identified as foreign-born and screened for their immigration status. Of those, 114 were identified as being in the United States illegally. Their names were forwarded to the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Twenty-eight either have been removed from the United States or are in holding stations awaiting removal, police said.

“Preliminary numbers show it (the partnership) is in compliance with what we wanted it to be: one additional tool to target the criminal element,” police spokesman Jacinto Rivera said.

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January 7, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment