Should Houston continue with 287 Sheriff Garcia in favor of program that lets deputies check immigration?
Should Houston continue with 287 Sheriff Garcia in favor of program that lets deputies check immigration status ?
HOUSTON – Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia wants to continue a controversial, federal program that allows some of his deputies to act as immigration agents.
A lot are saying, 'Well, you know, you’re deporting somebody for a minor crime,'" said Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Michael Lindsay. “They’re not being deported for any crime at all. They’re being deported because of their status here. “
The program, known to law enforcement as 287(g), gives eight Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies the power to screen every accused criminal who is processed in the county jail. Through a sophisticated, federal computer program, deputies check fingerprints. Within seconds, they can determine an inmate’s immigration status.
“It’s another tool to get criminals off the streets,” Lindsay said. “That’s what it is. And that’s what it’s doing.”
Since 287(g)’s inception 14 months ago, Sheriff’s Office deputies have placed an average of 1,000 people on detention every month. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials -- and later, federal judges -- determine if an inmate is deported.
“It doesn’t matter who you are,” said Lindsay “[It] doesn’t matter what color your skin is. What’s your nationality. What your religion is. You’re going to be asked the same set of questions. You’re going to be screened up front. And from that point on, you go to the 287(g) and everybody is going to be screened for immigration status.”
Critics have long contended the program casts a wide net and lumps traffic offenders with serious criminals.
“On paper it looks really good, but once you get it out in the field you do cast a huge, broad net,” said Carlos Espinosa, president of America Para Todos. “People are getting put into county jail for minor offenses and then because of their immigration status land in deportation proceedings. You’re criminalizing people who committed minor offenses who otherwise may be hardworking people.”
The Houston Police Department recently decided to voluntarily withdraw from negotiations to begin the program, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Mayor Bill White said he would prefer that Houston police officers participate in a different program that would allow them to search the immigration history of accused criminals.
Harris County commissioners will decide whether to give Garcia the go-ahead to continue with 287(g) next week. Critics of the program plan to be there to call on them to terminate the Sheriff’s Office involvement with the controversial program.
- sprcptLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
That is not the only people that need to check for legal residency or citizenship.
Landlords, employers, hospitals and international money wire transfer stations need to as well.
If they are homeless, can't work, can't get medical treatment and can't send money out of the country without getting caught....
Jail the landlords and employers as accomplices to the crime.
- Maricopa CountyLv 61 decade ago
I strongly favor having the city's Police Department participate in both the 287(g) program and the Secure Communities Program
- winklemanLv 43 years ago
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