Local News

February 26, 2012

Saving ‘287(g)’

Cut in funding proposed for criminal alien ID program


By the numbers

A breakdown of 287(g) activity in 2011 shows 672 inmates interviewed who were suspected of being illegal aliens, with 443 detained for further evaluation. Fifteen were found to be aggravated felons; 358 were ordered to appear in court for adjudication of offenses; 37 were found to have been deported, re-entering the country but processed for removal again; and 13 were already ordered to be deported. Two were found not to have committed serious crimes but were still in the country illegally.

In 2010, there were 979 inmates interviewed and 609 inmates evaluated. Of those, 20 were found to be aggravated felons, 475 were ordered to appear in court, 48 were found to be re-entries and 13 were already in deportation status.

Capt. Wes Lynch, who heads up the 287(g) program at the sheriff’s office, said the numbers are down for a reason.

“Many of the recidivist criminal aliens have been removed from the community and this affects the numbers,” he said. “Also, arrests of criminal aliens, in general, have been down. And we are encountering more and more aliens or inmates who were formerly aliens who now have some sort of legal status or citizenship. We did a study on the local level last year and determined that, of the illegal aliens that we encounter who have committed serious offenses, more than half have had no criminal history up to that date. This may be due to the fact that we have no record of their conduct in their home country. In any case, it shows that we cannot rely solely on an alien’s criminal history to determine if they are a threat to the community.”

 — Source: Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office

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