Immigration Enforcement

More companies use E-Verify immigration database

By SUSAN CARROLL HOUSTON CHRONICLE

June 1, 2009, 4:12AM

What do Continental Airlines, the Houston Ballet, the city of Dallas and Sen. John Cornyn all have in common?

They all use the federal government’s E-Verify program to check if their employees are authorized to work in the U.S. legally.

A Department of Homeland Security database of the more than 118,000 public, private and government employers enrolled in E-Verify as of May 1 shows companies big (Tyson Foods) and small (the Ballard Street Café in Wylie) are signed up for the program.

Enrollment has grown exponentially in recent years, with about 1,000 employers signing up each week for the free Web-based program, according to DHS statistics. More than 6,100 Texas employers have enrolled as of May 1, including at least 60 city, county and state agencies.

The city of Houston and Harris County aren’t among them. Lakewood Church and the Houston Rockets, however, use E-Verify.

“Why not do it?” asked Gerry Boren, the city manager of Gun Barrel City, population about 6,100, which sits on Cedar Creek Lake southeast of Dallas. The city started using the system in May, and so far has verified the work authorization of a police officer and two public works employees, he said.

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June 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Harris County, Texas adds nine deputies to 287(g)

HOUSTON – Nine sheriff deputies from Harris County have completed a rigorous four-week training program Friday, which authorizes them to enforce federal immigration law under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) “287(g) program.”

The training was held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston, S.C. Harris County Sheriff’s Office and ICE have signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) as authorized through section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The signed agreement and training enable officers, supervised by ICE, to legally identify criminal and illegal aliens that they may encounter, and to initiate removal proceedings for those found to be in the country illegally.

The four-week course provides in-depth training on various enforcement topics, including: immigration law, intercultural relations, and how to use DHS databases to help positively identify criminals and immigration violators.

“Each law enforcement agency that participates in the 287(g) program represents a force multiplier to help combat crime in local communities,” said Kenneth L. Landgrebe, field office director of the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations in Houston. “Our ICE officers look forward to working closely with these newly trained Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies to our mutual benefit, and to the ultimate benefit of public safety.” Landgrebe oversees 52 counties in southeastern Texas.

“Immigration is one of the most complex issues facing law enforcement today. Addressing illegal immigration effectively requires cooperation between all levels of law enforcement and I am proud to have nine graduates from the 287G program working within our agency. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will continue to work together toward the common goal of making our community safer by identifying and processing illegal aliens within the Harris County jail system” said, Harris County Sheriff Tommy Thomas.

The 287(g) program is named after the section of law under the INA that authorizes ICE to train local officers to enforce immigration law. The program has received more than $42 million for training and other associated costs under the current fiscal year 2008 budget – up from just over $15 million the program received in 2007. Currently, 62 local enforcement agencies spanning the nation have signed MOAs with ICE and now more than 840 officers have been trained to enforce immigration law. The officers from those agencies are credited with identifying more than 65,000 individuals with possible immigration violations since the beginning of 2006.

The 287(g) program is only one component under the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) umbrella of services available to assist local law enforcement officers. ICE ACCESS provides local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to partner with ICE to combat specific challenges in their communities.

Other ICE ACCESS enforcement options include the creation of local task forces targeting specific challenges like gangs or document fraud, the presence of a Criminal Alien Program (CAP) team in local detention facilities to identify criminal aliens, or training to utilize the ICE Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) which provides officers the ability to inquire about a person’s immigration and criminal history.

More information about ICE’s 287(g) program is available at: Section287(g)

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August 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carrollton, Farmers Branch accepted for immigration enforcement program

06:17 PM CDT on Friday, April 25, 2008

By JEFF MOSIER / The Dallas Morning News
jmosier@dallasnews.com

Carrollton and Farmers Branch are among the first Texas law enforcement agencies accepted into a program to give local officers federal immigration enforcement training, according to a press release Friday from U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant.

Harris County, where Houston is located, has also been accepted into the 287(g) program this week, according to the Coppell Republican’s office. Officers and deputies from the three agencies will receive training allowing them to investigate whether a person is in the country illegally and give them to access to federal immigration databases.

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April 28, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment