Freedom Folks

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Here's How It Happens!


Or, a little good news...
Council gives green light to instant immigration checks in jail

The Metro Council gave swift and overwhelming approval Tuesday night to a resolution allowing Sheriff Daron Hall’s Office to drastically change the way the local justice system handles illegal immigrants who are arrested in Nashville.

And beginning Tuesday – when 12 supervisors and officers, as well as four alternates from the Sheriff’s Office – begin their training from federal immigration officials, Nashville will become the latest in only a handful of counties nationwide to use federal resources to screen foreign-born arrestees for federal immigration violations.

The last jurisdiction to implement the 287(g) immigration screening program was Mecklenburg County (Charlotte), N.C.

Since the Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Department’s 287 (g) program became operational in May, it has identified 1,337 of the 2,557 – a sliver over 50 percent – of their foreign-born arrestees as having prior federal immigration violations.

When Nashville was forced to rely on sending immigration inquiries on its foreign-born arrestees to the federal government’s database in Vermont, immigration holds were placed on less than 4 percent of those foreign-born arrestees.

Hall lauded the Council’s strong support for the program, especially in light of the rift created by the debate about Metro’s adoption of an “English First” policy.

“I was afraid we’d get distracted with all the other conversations about immigration,” Hall said. “To me, though, it’s always been about public safety.”

With the final administrative approval out of the way, Hall said he is ready to get back to work.

“Our role is to release people into the community with some assurance that we’ve done all we can do to identify their criminal and their civil immigration matters that are outstanding.”

The co-sponsor of the resolution, Public Safety Committee Chairwoman Ginger Hausser, said she, too, was happy with the broad support of the Council and its ability to identify the 287(g) program as a public safety tool and not an immigration bill.

“We spent a whole, whole lot of time talking about illegal immigration, and it was a whole lot of talk without a lot of action, frankly,” Hausser said. “What we did tonight with this sheriff’s legislation, is we actually did something that has an impact.”…..
Why is this important? Two reasons.

The first and simplest is that we need to get those who are here illegally committing crimes out of here (the fact that they can restroll over the border to continue their mayhem is a separate issue). And this type of thing will help average Americans see how many crimes are being committed by "the best people in the whole wide world!"

Second, as Washington has taken the position that as far as they are concerned Americans can go hang, this is the only way change will come, at the local level. The only way true change will come from Washington is if we could remove not only every politician, but also every staffer, every lobbyist, etc. etc. ad nauseum.

True change comes at the local level and I am heartened every time I read a story like this. Yes, it is still far too little, but every little bit adds up over time and builds a momentum.

H/T immigration watchdog

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