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Program trains cops to identify, deport illegal aliens with criminal records

December 9, 2008
John Haughey
Source …..

Sheriffs-elect in Sarasota, Charlotte, and DeSoto counties want to enroll corrections officers into a federal program that trains them how to identify illegal aliens with criminal records.

The 287(g) program is a component of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which authorizes the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office to train local authorities in immigration law.

More than 60 agencies nationwide have signed pacts with ICE to train 850 officers, including 27 from Collier and 10 from Manatee counties.

The training has paid dividends in Southwest Florida.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office transferred 359 jailed illegal aliens to ICE for deportation in the first nine months after it initiated the program. Manatee County has sent 26 aliens to ICE for deportation in the last two months.

The results have sheriffs-elect in the tri-county area interested.

“I have full intention of utilizing that program,” Sarasota County Sheriff-Elect Tom Knight said. “We’re struggling with (jail) over-crowding, so we’ll be trying to use this as a tool. It’s also a public safety issue: I need to know who is in my jail.”

“We’ll be looking into that,” Charlotte County Sheriff-Elect Bill Cameron said. “When you process people into the jail, it gives corrections staff some added networking, an ability to check deeper.”

“I will consider that,” DeSoto County Sheriff-Elect Will Wise said. “In the past, we have had problems with people making fake IDs for aliens and that sort of thing so any tool you can get needs to be in your plan.”

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