Sheriffs to ICE: 'Fed Immigration Policy Has Failed,' Refund Cost of Housing Illegals

Tyler McNally | May 21, 2014 | 5:15pm EDT
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The Major County Sheriff's Association (MCSA) has called on the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency to implement and abide by a set of six new principles while handling illegal aliens.

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson, MCSA details that, if implemented, the six principles will "secure our nation's borders effectively, while ensuring we are using taxpayer dollars in the most efficient way possible."

Among the six principles, the first step is to "gain and maintain operational control of all U.S. borders."  The remaining five steps are more difficult if border security is not achieved first.

The MCSA also wants the federal government to reimburse the local law enforcement since "it is not the fault of locals that federal immigration policy has failed and therefore, the financial burden should not be borne by these agencies."

5) Require reimbursement to locals for housing of illegal immigrants. Locals should not bear the cost associated with housing any prisoner that is in this country illegally. This reimbursement needs to cover the stay of an illegal immigrant from the moment they enter a facility until they are released. It is not the fault of locals that federal immigration policy has failed and therefore, the financial burden should not be borne by these agencies.

A main point from the MCSA is that these plans must be budgeted in a way that develops "cost effective way to implement a biometric entry/exit system" to know who has left and reentered the country at any given time.

The majority of the remaining principles involve law enforcement where ICE can "ensure access to information and intelligence for all state and local law enforcement," along with "support [for] state and local enforcement with proper training and updated technology" in order to handle illegal immigration cases with better precision.  The MCSA thinks, "It is vital to have complete information in order to prevent further crimes and investigate crimes already committed."

The immigration problem has also been created by actions taken by the ICE that may harm the MCSA.  In a document obtained by the Center of Immigration Studies, "in 2013, ICE freed 36,007 convicted criminal aliens from detention who were waiting the outcome of deportation proceedings."  When repeat offenders' convictions were added up, the total comes out to over 87,000 convictions that were released.

The MCSA understands that ICE controls immigration, but "as the highest law enforcement officer in our counties, our mandate and priority is to protect our communities," and that "we implore [Secretary Johnson] to correct the issues listed above that make our job more difficult and the public less secure."

Former Secretary, and current President of the University of California, Janet Napolitano had previously received letter detailing these same six principles from MCSA.

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