Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department gets national recognition for cracking down on illegal immigrants

Via News 14 Carolina:

CHARLOTTE — The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office calls its effort to fight illegal immigration a success. Last spring, the sheriff’s office partnered with the Department of Homeland Security to empower local deputies with the tools they need to spot illegal immigrants with criminal records and to take the first steps toward deportation.

“They are searched in a federal database to search for their prior criminal history and their prior immigration arrest” said Sgt. Quinn Stansell.

Since May, local deputies have fingerprinted and processed nearly 2,000 inmates of questionable identity against federal records. The sheriff’s office found 930 to be here illegally.

“That success frankly has triggered interest throughout the entire country in our 287(g) program,” said Julie Myers, with the Department of Homeland Security.

The program has been around for years, but Mecklenburg County is one of the few communities taking advantage of the 287(g) program that allows local law enforcement to initiate the Federal Deportation Process for illegal aliens.

The data shows 68 percent are from Mexico, and a lot of the time, they end up in jail because of traffic violations.

“They know to avoid the system is don’t get arrested. And I don’t how much plainer to make that” said Mecklenburg County Sheriff Jim Pendergraph.

While this program ensures they’ll eventually be deported, there’s no guarantee they won’t be back:

While the system is gaining favorable reviews and becoming a model for other communities, it’s far from perfect. There is still no way to make sure suspected illegal immigrants appear at hearings. Also, there are some who are deported, but then come right back.

“What’s counterproductive is the border security not being in place like it should” said Rep. Sue Myrick, a Republican in the 9th District

She’s right. Unfortunately, the House – which took a stronger stance on illegal immigration than the Senate, and the President – won’t be in Republican control after this year, so there goes any hope of getting any meaningful tough immigration bill passed. That’s something I heard Sheriff Pendergraph express a concern about on a radio program yesterday afternoon: that he’s not sure that a Democrat-controlled Congress would keep/expand the funding in place for this 287(g) program.

In any event, hats off to Sheriff Pendergraph and his deputies for jobs well done.

Update: Speaking of illegal immigration:

Mississippi Democrat in line to become chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee has warned the nation’s largest uniform supplier it faces criminal charges if it follows a White House proposal to recheck workers with mismatched Social Security numbers and fire those who cannot resolve the discrepancy in 60 days.

Rep. Bennie Thompson said in a letter to Cintas Corp. it could be charged with “illegal activities in violation of state and federal law” if any of its 32,000 employees are terminated because they gave incorrect Social Security numbers to be hired.

“I am deeply troubled by Cintas’ recent policy change regarding the Social Security Administration’s ‘no match’ letters,” Mr. Thompson said in the Nov. 2 letter. “It is my understanding that hundreds of Cintas’ immigrant workers have received these letters. I am extremely concerned about any potentially discriminatory actions targeting this community.”


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