During the past few years, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has provided the community an opportunity to share their concerns or bouquets regarding the 287(g) (immigrant detention) program at an open steering committee meeting in the spring of the year.
The sheriff has recently announced to inquiring taxpayers who have requested the date for the current year’s hearing that he is not going to hold such a meeting in 2019. His reasoning seems to lead one to conclude that he can no longer defend his participation in the 287(g) program.
This lack of transparency simply reinforces why the county executive and the council, who face community accountability nearly every day, need to exert their budgetary authority. This authority will provide oversight to the only county agency that refuses to face their taxpayers and to explain how Frederick County’s involvement with ICE justifies county dollars — dollars levied for county services, not for federal law enforcement.
The 287(g) program is coming up for renewal on June 30, and one might think the county’s elected representatives might wish to know if the community has questions and reservations, which may suggest renewal or not. Canceling his only public meeting leads one to think that the sheriff is simply unable to face his taxpayers to hear both the good and the bad.
Point of Rocks