Critics of Frederick County’s controversial immigration enforcement program called for independent oversight of it at a combative 287(g) steering committee meeting Wednesday night.

Supporters and critics of the 287(g) program met with Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, sheriff’s deputies and officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to learn about the county’s cooperation with federal immigration officials and ask questions. Under the 287(g) agreement, sheriff’s deputies may inquire about the immigration status of all people booked into the Frederick County Adult Detention Center and hold inmates on ICE detainers.

At dual rallies before the steering committee meeting, critics of the 287(g) program, including the American Civil Liberties Union and local groups such as CASA, Showing Up for Racial Justice, the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Caucus of African American Leaders, protested in front of Winchester Hall in areas set apart by police tape from program advocates who were also there to rally.

Each side at times seemed unwilling to listen to the other. Some shouted over each other and one man could be heard saying, “Thank God I can’t hear what they’re saying,” of speeches on the opposing side.

There was some agreement, however, among some of the participants. Some people on either side of the issue said they believed that convicted violent criminals should be a priority for deportation.

Dorothy Herrera-Niles, director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations for the Baltimore Field Office, noted that anyone in the country illegally was subject to deportation and, with the rollback of the Obama administration’s priorities, ICE’s priorities were now driven by resources and the circumstances of each case.

Members of Safe Haven Frederick, a group dedicated to inclusion and community engagement, asked if there had been an audit of the program. Herrera-Niles said the operation was evaluated by a separate arm of ICE, the Office of Professional Responsibility.

Alicia Barmon, founder of Safe Haven Frederick, asked the ICE officials about the training and overtime costs associated with the program. The agency covers those costs and the expenses related to holding ICE detainees, they said. The sheriff’s office is reimbursed at a rate of $83 per prisoner per day.

“Shouldn’t there be some closer analysis of those costs?” activist Kimberly Mellon asked.

Herrera-Niles said she would pass along the call for an independent audit to the agency.

Jenkins said he would not agree to any kind of audit unless there was a clear need for it, which he didn’t see given the oversight already in place.

He called the program effective and said he would support it as long as he was sheriff.

Maj. Michael Cronise shared statistics and anecdotes about the program in a brief presentation before taking questions.

The Frederick County Adult Detention Center handled 1,478 ICE detainers from 2008 to May 31, 2017. Many, 867, were held as a result of Frederick Police Department arrests. Of the people held, 60 were believed to be affiliated with gangs.

The largest portion of people detained at ICE’s request originated from El Salvador, according to sheriff’s office reports.

The number of people held on immigration charges in cooperation with ICE increased from 342 in 2012 to 461 in 2014. That figure fell to 317 in 2015, according to the most recently available Frederick County Sheriff’s Office report online.

The hearing became emotional during the question-and-answer portion, with supporters of the program cheering Jenkins and booing critics as those opposed to 287(g) spoke of children and immigrant communities traumatized by fear of deportation.

Jenkins and Herrera-Niles at times had to remind the crowd to be respectful of one another.

One woman’s voice shook as she spoke about threats that her third-generation Mexican-American daughter had received in the wake of President Donald Trump’s rise to power from campaigning on immigration issues.

Supporters of the program asked the crowd to consider the stories of victims of crimes committed by people in the country illegally.

When asked about the possibility that the program made immigrants afraid to report crimes, Jenkins said that “chilling effect” didn’t exist. When questioned further, he was unable to cite support for that statement, but he later mentioned a Center for Immigration Studies report from 2011 that said enforcement had limited impact on crime reporting in the immigrant community. The Center for Immigration Studies has generally called for low levels of immigration.

Ann Matheson, a retired teacher, said she came to the rally and meeting because she was worried about how the program affected children. She said she was aware that some families were afraid because of the policy.

“I am fundamentally opposed to the involvement of local police in ICE activities,” the Frederick County resident said. “I’m hoping to get rid of 287(g) in Frederick County.”

Gail Weiss came from Montgomery County to show her support for the program.

“I believe in law and order and I believe in following the law,” she said.

When asked how she responded to the argument that the program splits up families, she said, “They’re splitting up their own family.”

Jenkins remained unmoved by the opposition.

“There’s no basis for criticism. This is about enforcing the law. These groups don’t want you to enforce the law,” he said in a phone interview before the meeting.

Frederick County Councilman Kirby Delauter issued a statement in support of the 287(g) Program before the meeting.

“I never want to see Frederick County become a sanctuary county. Should the county ever travel down that path, it would then be refusing to enforce the law and risking millions of dollars in federal funding in the process,” said Delauter, who announced last month that he will run for county executive in 2018.

Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiLoos.

(91) comments

jill king

This is terrible one sided reporting that neither educated the public, nor showed the numerous people there supporting 287g. And the photograph crops out pictures of people of color for 287g with their signs. Kelsi, your bias is showing.

KellyAlzan

Jill, remember when you said you were suing the FNP? LOL

smarter than you

Jenkins is a crypto-racist

eesti006

Vodalone you seem to be able to spin a fantastic web of twisted facts misinformation and misleading information. Your suggestion that they can get a Visa first before the green card is incorrect. Currently there is a 10,000 yearly cap and those applicants in excess of the yearly cap are given deferred status and a green card. Please do your research before littering the board with your nonsense. Dave

gary4books

Most of us agree that the Immigrations law is not working as it should. Some say that the solution will be to enforce it. I think we need a new law and if only the Congress leadership would allow a vote, we would have one. Fix the law.

KarlBickel

[thumbup]

b1sellers

You are right gary

Csm9105

The fact is the US is a sovereign nation. It has the absolute right to decide who can enter the country. We have laws, if you have entered this country illegally then the US government has the right to deport you and I appreciate the fact that the Frederick authorities work with the Federal government to control ILLEGAL immigration. Keep it up,

KellyAlzan

And the illegals appreciate the free all expense paid vacations to see mommy and sisters compliments of the US tax payer.....

CDReid

Then maybe they should be incarcerated for life. If people like you didn't employ them we wouldn't have the problem that we do.

KellyAlzan

This is not about me.

If society raised their children to do things on their own, and instilled work ethics in their children - we would not need immigrants, legal and illegal.

As long as society is paying outsiders to mow their grass, clean their houses, clean their pools - the immigrants will remain in strong demand.

You can hate hate hate all you want.

Csm9105

So be it......

spmark1107

Kelly.. this narrative has been shoveled around for years. I promise you if all illegal immigrants vanished tomorrow our country would manage to survive. The idea that we need illegal immigrants because no one is willing to work is ridiculous. I know people who hire them. They can hire them at a reduced rate because they claim maximum exemptions to get the biggest paycheck possible but then do not file taxes. They can work for less and therefore get the jobs. But hey, this point shouldn't matter. Do we enforce the law or not? Those who argue that we should not will have a difficult time making a good case.

KellyAlzan

I disagree

spmark1107

Your reply is simply you disagree? Are you saying that our countryn, that survived a civil war, and pulled together to prevail in WW2 will collapse due to lack of leaf blower operators? Please explain how this works.

KellyAlzan

I am a an employer. Of over 27 years. I disagree. and I have written extensively about this subject in the comments of the Fnp.

Our youth are no longer raised to do blue collar work.

Joey Pesto

Since everyone is innocent until proven guilty, would it not be better, and less controversial, if once someone is found guilty of a crime they are then asked about their immigration status? Then all those who are found guilty, and exhaust their appeals, can be deported. Meanwhile, we as citizens of the US need to focus on bigger problems such as the Opioid epidemic and gun violence epidemic.

CDReid

I consider the fact that illegals cost me and other law abiding taxpayers billions of dollars a year just as big, if not a bigger, problem.

KellyAlzan

I dunno. Most illegals have taxes withheld, which does not get refunded to them. I could list others points. I think its a wash.

KarlBickel

[thumbup]

Comment deleted.
FASTHDPAT

A bigot for wanting the law enforced, REALLY! Guess you wouldn't mind anyone breaking into your house.

Comment deleted.
spmark1107

Hold up. Did you just insult a man for the way he looks, and then call HIM a bigot? He's an uneducated fool based on his attire? Who's the fool here? Be civil at least.

KellyAlzan

Quote:
"This is about enforcing the law"

Response:
Kinda of like how Jenkins used his county owned, insured, maintained, and fueled, cruiser to campaign for sheriff while the General Order states that NO county vehicle shall be used for political campaign purposes......

pretzel

287(g) shouldn't even be a topic, it should be mandatory across this land in every county in every state.

CDReid

YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! IT SHOULD MOST CERTAINLY BE MANDATORY!!!!!!!!! [thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Whoknows

pretzel is absolutely right!

eesti006

That question about whether "enforcement would make immigrants afraid to report crimes" was deceptively framed by immigration advocates. They fail to mention the U Visa program which rewards illegal immigrants with a green card if they report and solve crimes. The total backlog of U Visas (crime victim visas) reported by US Citizenship and Immigration Ser. has exploded from 13,645 in FY 2010 to over 168,000 by the close of 2nd qtr. FY 2017. The U program has been oversubscribed to the point where there will soon be more illegal immigrants seeking "crime victim visas" than the number of crimes in the first place. The dramatic explosion of the U Visa program, destroys the justification for sanctuary cities and destroys the argument that the 287(g) program makes immigrants afraid to report crimes. Future debates should include discussions about the U visa.

Whoknows

Excellent information, eest!

vodalone

Your description for qualifications for a U-visa is incorrect. It does not reward illegal immigrants a green card if they report a crime. It is visa first and foremost, not a green card, available to victims of abuse, crime, and smuggling committed by a US citizen or US legal permanent resident. Please do some research before making such a generalizing statement about immigration law.

vodalone

287(g) is a slippery slope, currently it's written that only those detained and booked have their immigration status checked, but since 287(g) is part of 1996 INA it can be amended to state local LE has to ask anyone they come in contact with about their immigration status. This would be wrong on many many levels. This country is not a papers please dictatorship....yet.

gdunn

None of that is true. LE is not asking people on the street their immigration status.

phydeaux994

There are two parts to the 287(g) Program. Enforcement and Detainment. Originally the FCSO was part of both. But the Sheriff abused the Enforcement provision by not following ICE's guidelines and ICE and the FCSO came to a "mutual" decision to have the FCSO leave the Enforcement part of the 287(g) Program. The Sheriff never mentions that. Plus, the Sheriff has been on his crusade to rid the County of all illegal aliens for breaking the law while never mentioning that all his good buddy friends are breaking the law by hiring them.

vodalone

I'm 100% certain he eats at restaurants each week where his food is prepared by illegal immigrants, the company he hires to maintain his landscaping uses cheap illegal immigrant labor, and so on. Bottom line is, it's time for congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform which reflects the current landscape in our country where there are criminals and public safety threats that should be deported, but also just regular families trying to create a better life who stay out of trouble. No way this issue can be painted with a broad brush.

vodalone

spmark and gdunn: You can guarantee it won't happen? History suggests otherwise, see operation Wetback and Japanese internment camps during WWII.

Comment deleted.
spmark1107

Anything can be amended. But that particular amendment would never be tolerated so I don't see how it's a valid argument against 287(g).

Comment deleted.
gdunn

It's not a slippery slop and what you claim would happen won't.

KellyAlzan

From The Frederick News Post, march 25, 2014

"
On Oct. 7, 2008, Santos was eating lunch outside her workplace, the Common Market, when the two deputies saw her, stopped their car and questioned her about her immigration status, even though she had broken no laws, her attorneys have said.


The encounter was consensual until one of the deputies gestured for her to sit back down while they attempted to verify whether a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement civil warrant for “immediate deportation” in her name was still active, the Court of Appeals wrote.

spmark1107

To those who suggested we arrest those who employ illegal immigrants, and that the right does not consider why they come here in the first place, I would like to ask what the result would likely be if we force small business owners to make employees require proof of citizenship? If deporting illegal immigrants after they get arrested is so controversial then just imagine the outcry over preventing them from making a wage to support their families? Maybe it's not just the far right who sometimes doesn't think it through. The far left might want to also consider that money sent out of our economy and into Mexico is Mexico's #1 source of income. It even out weighs money they make from oil. So there seems to be room for deporting, at the very least, those who commit crimes in our country. Can we not even agree on that?

jerseygrl42

according to the GAO we have 12 -14 million people in this country w/o permission costing taxpayers $220 Billion every year while some subset of them commit 3 million crimes annually according to the FBI.....we are either a country of laws or we are nothing and it is immaterial what the various groups who support lawlessness like ACLU or casa think....and I am thankful we have a Sheriff and deputies who understand what this country is supposed to be about; and we are the most receptive country in the world to LEGAL immigrants taking in more that a million every year...Please keep up the great work Sheriff Jenkins!

Whoknows

jerseygrl42, absolutely right! Thanks for being another voice of reason and common sense. I am very thankful for Sheriff Jenkins and his deputies, and totally support them on this issue. At the end of the day, we are a nation of laws. Just imagine if we weren't?! Advocate groups cannot, or SHOULD not, think they can just pick and choose which laws to obey and uphold!

b1sellers

Lies that have been debunked many times but jersey clings to them

Whoknows

b1, not lies at all! Have you researched the cost of illegals our systems? Do you realize, assuming you're a tax payer, that YOU help pay for the cost of illegals? Do you realize that YOU help pay for the ambulance that takes an illegal woman to the hospital because she's in labor and they have no car? Do you realize that YOU help pay for hospital expenses for both mother and child? Do you realize that YOU help pay for the education of said child as he/she grows up in our school system?

b1sellers

I have looked up the GAO report. It does not say what jersey says it does - I suspect she has never gone and read it and is only using talking points. See, that's the problem with not doing your own research. As far as your other points do YOU realize we all pay for the education of all children and I don't have a problem with that - I am more concerned with the dumbing down of Americans. YOU do realize that a lot of the people you are talking about pay their own way and YOU do realize they pay taxes that they never get back. Oh, and yes, I am a tax payer.

vodalone

And the smart thing to do would be to send a child raised and educated here back to a country they almost have no clue about? Seems like the waste would be investing into a child's education, then shipping them off to a place where we would have no benefit from that education.

b1sellers

I agree vodalone. But they have even deported those who fought for us in our military. Disgraceful.

spmark1107

B1 - I think most of us agree that our tax money is well spent paying for children's education, but would it be equally well spent if we sent a large portion of that money to Canada to pay for their children's schooling? Using tax $ to educate citizens we import from other countries also seems unwise. Undocumented minors typically cost a significant amount more annually to educate due to special programs for which they are enrolled and the families of those children likely cost more to support than the tax revenue they generate. Frederick county is facing both a school budget issue and an overcrowding issue and immigration seems to be a likely factor.

Whiskey2

You're absolutely right! Those numbers are way too low!

CDReid

Lies? Then prove her wrong. Offer your own link to statistics.

b1sellers

She did not provide a link. You go look it up - that's what I did.

Dwasserba

Legal residents are being subjected to rudeness. Let's all carry our papers then and be subjected to random harrassment.

gdunn

Which isn't what is occurring. LE is not randomly asking anyone their immigration status. Stop spreading false information.

KellyAlzan

gdunn - you are incorrect. There is a pending lawsuit because "LE" did in fact ask a random person her status. Please stop spreading false information

Whiskey2

If you're referring to Roxana Orellana-Santos, no one asked her status. She was entered into NCIC with a warrant for her deportation. She was held for ICE to pick her up - as was the practice at the time with all police departments - even Montgomery County. The deputies that encountered her were not even involved in the 287 (g) program and never asked her a question about her immigration status - they didn't have to.

KellyAlzan

From The Frederick News Post, march 25, 2014

"
On Oct. 7, 2008, Santos was eating lunch outside her workplace, the Common Market, when the two deputies saw her, stopped their car and questioned her about her immigration status, even though she had broken no laws, her attorneys have said.


The encounter was consensual until one of the deputies gestured for her to sit back down while they attempted to verify whether a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement civil warrant for “immediate deportation” in her name was still active, the Court of Appeals wrote.


Santos challenged whether it was legal to detain her without probable cause that she was engaged in criminal activity and whether the deputies had the authority to arrest her on a civil, not criminal, warrant."

Whoknows

The first crime committed by illegals was crossing the border illegally! The process of becoming a legal US citizen is worth it. Whether it is a long and costly process is irrelevant. It is what it is! We have laws that must be respected and upheld. Illegal criminals arrested/detained/deported are the ones guilty of splitting up their families, NOT law enforcement and NOT those who oppose illegal immigration! Illegals would not be "living in fear" if they followed the law and came here legally. Again, follow the law or suffer the consequences. Like it or not, there is a reaction for every action. Where is the respect for those who DO go through the process of becoming legal citizens? Supporters of illegal immigration and those opposed to 287g need to start thinking with their brains and not their emotions. How can you condone the very first crime committed by illegals that very second they crossed that border illegally? And then to add insult to injury, you have sympathy for them if they're deported after committing further (often horrendous) crimes? How can you slap those in the face who did their due diligence, followed the process, and became legal citizens? Research how much of your tax dollars are spent supporting illegals in our systems (healthcare, public schools, etc.). The bottom line is this. The US is a land of law and order which must be respected, upheld, AND enforced!

DickD

You know, Who, I agree with you, but if you feared for your life would you stay put? Okay, perhaps you and your family are starving, would you stay put?

Whiskey2

Dick, I'm glad you agree that most are here for economic reasons rather than fleeing a dangerous situation. If that were really the case, why would they go to places like Baltimore and Chicago? Far more dangerous. There are billions of poorer families in far more dangerous places around the world. Should they all be allowed to illegally enter our country?Why not? I'm sure our corporations would love to have more slave labor to drive down salaries and take more jobs away from Americans. Hell, they'll probably work for less than the current illegals here and put them out of work!

Whoknows

DickD. I respect and obey laws. If I feared for my life or was starving or both, I would work to find an alternative within the boundaries of the law in any given nation/country, city or state. Period.

b1sellers

You have no idea what you would do if you and your families lives were in danger or if you couldn't feed your kids. Saying you do is ridiculous.

Whoknows

b1sellers... I have news for you. YES, I can say that I would STILL abide by laws even IF my family was hungry or in danger. I *would* work even harder to correct the situation to turn things around in a positive direction one baby step at a time! Do not put words in my mouth.

b1sellers

I don't believe you who. No one knows what they will do when they are in a desperate situation. Not even you.

Whoknows

b1, I couldn't care less whether you believe me or not. I know my heart and mind. YOU don't.

KellyAlzan

B1 is right. Illegal immigrants go for many many weeks, mostly on foot, with virtually no food, and only drinking about (4) ounces of water per day, to enter into the states. They ride in closed trailers in 100+ degree heat (outside temps) to get into the states. That's pretty desperate.

b1sellers

exactly Kelly. And people who have never been in those circumstances can have no idea what they would do no matter what they think they would do. Easy to say "I would follow all the laws" when just talking - much harder to do when your child is starving or you are being threatened to be killed. It's ridiculous to state other wise.

RaeD8s

It took First Lady Trump ten years to become a US citizen. It is not an easy process to become 'legal'. Plus, the cost of close to $2000 is an obstacle for most immigrants (unlike Mrs. Trump).

DickD

Posing nude on a rug, is lucrative!

jerseygrl42

No Class

b1sellers

Yep, she has no class

DickD

Funny, jersey, your hero married her. [lol]

jswalker1963

Can you imagine the outrage if Michelle Obama had posed nude? And why is it our president has to go to foreigners for 67% of his wives to date? Put down the Kool aid and you know these are true statements. I want to hear just one of you that thinks it's ok for melanoma to have posed nude that it wouldn't have bothered you if Michelle had some the same thing, without resorting to insults about her looks.

Whiskey2

A little off topic, but... "(W)ithout resorting to insults about her looks." Wow! This was in the same sentence in which you referred to the current First Lady as "melanoma". Nice. Melania was a model. They pose for pictures. It's how they make a living. Michelle was a lawyer. They generally do not earn their living posing for pictures. However, had some photos been found of her from years ago, it certainly wouldn't have bothered me.

tatt2ed

If she had posed nude 10 - 20 years ago, I would not have a care about it. Michelle is an attractive woman, as is Melania.

Whoknows

I didn't care for Michelle based on her character. I couldn't care less whether Melania posed nude at one time. Her character speaks volumes. That's what matters.

b1sellers

Leave it to CD to post just what you expected. The right went absolutely nuts over Michelle Obama showing her bare arms. We know exactly what would have been said if she had posed nude. They are hypocrites.

kcullenmediator

Many years ago maybe 2008 or 2009, we facilitated a meeting much like this through the local mediation center, CALM, Inc. Sounds like the organizers should have reached out to the center again to help with the meeting. The previous meeting while emotional was better controlled and everyone had an opportunity to be heard.

Reader1954

start fining and arresting the people hiring the illegals and it will stop

jwhamann

Yeah. They're taking summer jobs away from those lazy high school students.

KellyAlzan

LOL - its all the employere fault that you raised your kids to be lazy and not get jobs

CDReid

If the ACLU, CASA, SHRJ, CAIR, and CARL didn't condone and support illegal activity their arguments would have ligitimacy. As it is, because they do, they have none.

Whoknows

Exactly, CDReid! Yet the lunacy continues.........

jerseygrl42

Spot-ON!

gdunn

bingo! pretty simple. But we all know the left needs the illegal votes in an attempt to make them relevant again in politics.

b1sellers

You do realize that the voter fraud was committed by trump supporters. And since 3 million more people voted for HRC than trump your argument makes no sense. Alternative facts?

Crusty Frederick Man 64

Will this BS ever stop it's so simple . Legal is right, Illegal is wrong period ! Legal you stay, Illegal you go, it's called the LAW.

CDReid

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

sevenstones1000

Start arresting the farmers and small business owners who are employing the undocumented. No jobs means no immigration to the US.

But no, we don't want to haul out local farmers and restaurant owners until court, do we?

DickD

Seven, the far right is going to look at just their opinions, never considering the reason(s) we have illegals here.

jwhamann

A crusty comment, that's for sure.

amoxley48

🇺🇸 Amen

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, insights and experiences, not personal attacks. Ad hominem criticisms are not allowed. Focus on ideas instead.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
No trolls. Off-topic comments and comments that bait others are not allowed.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
Say it once. No repeat or repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.