As we all know, an audit is being conducted of the sheriff’s office to determine the county’s cost in funding the 287(g) immigration program.

It appears that the county has made a number of possible missteps to taint the audit’s results.

(1) The county placed the audit implementation in the hands of the internal audit agency, whose track record since the days of the Board of County Commissioners has been perceived to help the county cover up mistakes rather than correct them.

(2) Many of the same staff for the county were involved with the county efforts to sell Montevue. Are we seeing more aiding and abetting in the 287(g) discussion?

(3) The county is simply recycling a current audit firm on the pre-selected list of the audit agency. Such a move again calls into question a conflict of interest and lack of transparency.

(4) The task order for audit defines costs as only incremental costs and fails to include many items such as facility costs for office space and equipment, etc., related to carrying out the duties of 287(g). They are ignoring that Frederick taxpayers are paying annual budgeted debt service on many of these facilities.

(5) Most importantly, there is no concern being expressed by the county beyond costs. There is no recognition of what the effect is on our residents, including our immigrant families. While our school system has implemented a number of excellent programs to help our immigrant families in their educational needs, the county has created a community environment of rejection and persecution under the direction by the sheriff’s office while good elected officials seem to do nothing.

(6) A number of studies have been conducted by researchers in local colleges and universities and by groups such as the Cato Institute, which have pointed out that implementing the 287(g) has had no effect on crime rates. You would think that the county, as a part of their sworn duties, would demand such data before they continue 287(g). Instead they take what is verbally presented at face value by the program functionaries without question.

After several years of our new charter government, one would certainly expect to see a much more rigorous budget process and a more informed analysis and questioning of all county agencies by elected officials. In fact, the well-run agencies would likely welcome such an opportunity to display their programs for the public oversight.

Edward Burrell

Point of Rocks

(29) comments

mrnatural1

Quote (from #5):

"While our school system has implemented a number of excellent programs to help our immigrant families in their educational needs, the county has created a community environment of rejection and persecution under the direction by the sheriff’s office while good elected officials seem to do nothing."

Rejection and persecution? The first part of that sentence indicates otherwise. The county has done and continues to do a lot to make recent immigrants feel welcome.

The 287(g) program does not affect any law-abiding people -- whether or not they are here illegally. They certainly should not feel 'rejected and persecuted' by it. Only criminals need worry.

That said, if the police were profiling -- "Hey Billy-Bob, that guy looks like one-uh them Mexycans, let's git 'im!!" -- then absolutely I could see people feeling persecuted and scared -- but that's not the case. At least not to my knowledge. The way the program is supposed to work, a person's immigration status is only checked if they are arrested and booked into the FredCo detention center.

If there are any cops guilty of racial profiling they should be terminated immediately.

mrnatural1

Regarding the 287(g) program -- IF it is administered properly, i.e, not used for profiling, then there should be broad support for it. It's one thing for person to be in the U.S. illegally, but otherwise doing nothing wrong. It's something else entirely if someone is here illegally and is committing crimes. Few people are suggesting we attempt to round up every person who entered the country illegally and deport them, but immigrants who are criminals on top of being here illegally need to go.

As for the larger subject of immigration (legal and illegal) the primary concern should be overpopulation. The U.S. is at double its sustainable population. We should be working to voluntarily slow, stop, and reverse population growth -- not add to it.

The U.S. is bankrupt. Our national debt is $23T and growing by the minute. We should absolutely help our neighbors to the south, but we need to keep in mind that any money we spend will be added to that $23T debt (and/or must come from existing programs). With the limited amount of money we have to spare, it makes much more sense to help people where they live. Help them improve their country so they will not feel the need to come to the U.S.

Focusing on foreign aid will help the greatest number of people and is clearly the most moral course of action.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] mrnatural!

timothygaydos

illegals regardless how you spin it are breaking the law and cost tax payers $$$ every day at all levels of where our $$$ is collected... and when they fill-out federal and state and even local government forms and lie on them - again breaking laws compounding their initial criminal act... for all of you that feel they need sanctuary just open your door and allow them to come and go into your home, you feed them, educate them, provide medical services - at your expense not at the expense of all other tax payers...

KellyAlzan

And American citizens don’t break any laws?

American citizens don’t falsify tax returns?

And Chuck Trumpkins didn’t achieve an illegal immigrant a lottery payout in excess of $1mil in US civil court as reported in the FNP?

gabrielshorn2013

Yes kelly, American citizens break laws, get arrested, and go to jail. What's your point? A small portion of American citizens falsify tax returns, get caught, and either get fined, go to prison, or both. Every undocumented alien that uses stolen social security numbers to obtain employment have committed identity theft, which can lead to serious financial difficulties for the real holders that takes a lot of time and money to fix. As for the illegal alien payout that you said was reported in the FNP, where was that. I searched the website, and the last story said it was awarded, not that it was ever paid, or how much.

timothygaydos

Yes American citizens break the law every day we know that and unfortunately we have to deal with that so why would we want to increase the risk of having more crime in our country by allowing illegal immigration. Total nonsense of the supporters of open borders and the idea that all is well in the unicorn world. Yes we also know that American citizens when filing tax returns "falsify" them and again we have laws in place to prevent that and go after criminals... so the illegal immigrant was wrongly treated based on our laws and got a settlement from our judicial system - great still she is now in the deportation line and so she can spend her $$$ below the border where she came from or in a country that would give her access... or maybe you can help her get a legal visa to stay and you give her a job... overall the immigration system has been and continues to be broken and needs an overhaul to prevent destruction of our great country.

Burgessdr

It's just an audit. Most agencies and businesses are audited. The controversy is a nothingburger. Grow up, get over it.

Ellen Lerner

I would ask people who have read and responded to Ed Burrell's letter consider that all he is asking for is a true and proper audit of a governmental function. That it relates to 287g in this instance is not the point -- the point is holding our government accountable for the use of our tax dollars. A request for an audit is an important process in a democratic society - no matter the issue, we have a right to know what's going on, openly, honestly, and fairly. Claims have been made in particular about the efficacy of 287g, which serves as the reference point for this particular audit - choose another topic for an audit - any topic, and I'm sure that if the issues were the same as regards how the audit is being conducted, then questions should - and must - be asked. The issue is the audit, not the immigration debacle. Claims that the program has made money for the County should be verified, because if frederick County has made money off of ICE detainers, then it is the only place in the entire U.S. that has done so. We all - everyone of us - have the right to question our government. We should always be questioning it - thank you Ed Burrell for your questions. So this request is really about "show me the money" - and do it correctly.

I truly do not know what the answers to this auditor are going to be, but I'm willing to give it a chance, if it operated under proper standards. It's that simple. It seems to me that whenever there is a thought - no matter how remote - about immigrants or 287g, that people have become so reactive that there really is no discussion - just automatic positions. Can we for once just read the letter clearly - it may help us all to start listening to what is actually being said. To those who have written in direct response to Ed Burrell's letter on either side of the concern -- KUDOS!!

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] Ms. Lerner!

DickD

Thank you, Ms. Lerner.

hn181

Frozen II is currently in theaters. Please go and learn how to "Let it Go"

DickD

Any audit should consider all costs. If any equipment or facility is used, that cost should be prorated and included.

erben

The Final Report of The Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland, February 8, 2012, submitted to the Maryland General Assembly included this recommendation:

“Recommendation C: Local communities should avoid participation in the 287(g) program. Since it specifically enrolls local personnel in immigration enforcement, it can consume substantial local resources for oversight, training, and work hours. Since it often identifies individuals whom the DHS has specifically labeled low priority for removal, the resources used to implement it outweighs the benefits. More important, the 287(g) program has displayed a much greater propensity to undermine the relationship between law enforcement and the local immigrant community.”

In 2019, in Frederick County, we await a limited financial audit of the 287(g) program for the period 2015 through 2019. As Mr. Burrell notes, upon receipt, we will still not know the cost. How does that make sense?

DickD

It makes sense because it is auditing the program for costs, not total benefits. We will never know for sure how much time individual deputies spend working on it, unless they are dedicated full time or log in and out when working on the program. It really is a scam, perpetuated by those that are not concerned about the true County costs.

naturegirl

Go ahead and delete my comment because you don't agree...not because it's inflammatory but just because you don't like it...as your great villainous leader would say, Sad.

mr_twist27

Perhaps FCPS should conduct an audit on how much illegal immigrants cost the school system?

DickD

Perhaps they should and will, but that will not change the 287 9(g) audit. Will not change because only those held in violation of the law will be turned over to ICE. Supposedly, not many - if any, will be students at a young age. What usually happens is the County incurs extra expense as the family wage earner is deported.

BunnyLou

How much does it cost to help our ‘immigrant families’ with learning, health care, putting food on the table, heating their home and a myriad of other issues? So, being able to eject the worst of the worst of our ‘immigrant families’ seems to be a small price to pay as a taxpayer.

naturegirl

Let me give you the broader picture...these undocumented immigrants are working, paying taxes and social security, yet they cannot file for social security at retirement or personal income tax in order to obtain a refund. In order to work, you must provide a social, unless working under the table. Legitimate companies require a social. An illegal gains employment, using an erroneous social, thus paying their fair share, plus whatever refunds are never returned to them. Why is this concept so hard to understand? In addition to them actually paying taxes through payroll, how much are they paying in sales tax? I am sure they are paying as much as the next. Lastly, deport a hard working father, leaving a family to fend for themselves. Do you think the children will be in love with America? Between separating children and deporting undocumented immigrants, we are opening ourselves up for one heck of an attack in 20 or so years...

neilyoungfan25

Maybe illegal residents should think about all the repercussions BEFORE they enter our country illegally . Only they are responsible for what happens to their families if they make the choice to break our laws.

KellyAlzan

And maybe the Sherf should have thought before mis-using the 287 program and losing a civil suit to an illegal immigrant.

And maybe, some commenters should think before posting comments that open the door for the reality.

Quisling

Perhaps they do consider all the issues and decide that placing themselves at the mercy of a foreign government is a better option than staying in their home country. Addressing why they come to American is the only way to stop them. Treating them like crap clearly is not a deterrent.

gabrielshorn2013

naturegirl, you have described two groups of unlawful workers in the US; those without a SSN, and those with. According to you, if a worker cannot provide a SSN, they are working under the table. If so, how are they paying payroll taxes, including Federal and State income taxes, FICA, and others? Why would an employer provide evidence that they hired ineligible workers by paying those taxes on their behalf? How are they then eligible to collect those social benefits? The other group are those that are committing identity fraud using falsified documents. These are not "erroneous documents", meaning "containing error; mistaken; incorrect; wrong". These are deliberately faked, and could cause the actual holders of these numbers financial difficulties, like credit ratings, down the road. I will agree that illegal aliens pay sales taxes, tolls, etc.

Dwasserba

[thumbup] although it does appear that modern day individuals are so removed from their own immigrant story of hardships and survival that they do not hold a grudge except against the newest versions of their progenitors. When we are old and frail and cared for others once considered unwelcome minorities, hopefully they are better people than we are.

BunnyLou

blah, blah, blah. Wait in line at the boarder and follow procedures. Those are the rules. They were good enough for my great grandparents they are good enough for these people as well.

seanjames

when did your great-grandparents emigrate here? before 1924, i'm guessing? because in that case, they didn't have to do anything but show up. it wasn't until non-whites started showing up in large numbers that the US enacted strict immigration laws. and that was and continues to be entirely the point. trump simply said the quiet part loud with his "ess hole countries" rant

BunnyLou

Using an erroneous Social? How about stealing a Social? Consider what you’ve said. Persons here illegally have committed a second crime worse than the first. For those who have legitimate socials that were stolen their road to recovery is very difficult if not impossible. I would amend the the 287g program to include much more than violent crime. I would include identity theft, drunk driving and breaking & entering. As to your last point about parents and children, if you don’t want to be deported, don’t do the crime. Finally, fathers and mothers here legally in the US are separated from their families routinely by being locked up in prison for committing serious crimes making your last point weak indeed.

KellyAlzan

“Small price to pay”

Like the price that the county paid to Roxana Santos, in illegal immigrant who prevailed in civil suit against the sheriff and the county, as reported by the FNP. The settlement is what prompted the audit.

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