That is, if you include its efforts to avoid having local law enforcement departments move into policing immigration laws, a function expressly permitted under Section 287(g) of the 1996 Immigration and Nationality Act:
Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronicâ€¦ whose jail has an average of 225 foreign nationals booked in each month, says he's tired of inaction by federal officials when it comes to deporting accused lawbreakers who are in the country illegally. Now he wants his deputies to start the deportation process themselvesâ€¦
Only a select list of law enforcement agencies have an official memorandum of understanding with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that allows deputies to use the provisions of 287(g). The Hall County Sheriff's Office is one of 67 law enforcement agencies from across the nation on a waiting list of applicants. Cronic has been waiting since Februaryâ€¦ Federal officials have cited a budget shortfall for the training and computer equipment required for the program, and have said Hall County might get word on its application by October, when the new fiscal year beginsâ€¦. Cronic â€¦has one senior staff member phone federal officials once a week to remind them.
Hall sheriff: Deport illegal immigrants By Stephen Gurr gainsvilletimes.com Sunday September 2 2007.
A good deal is at stake here
In Hall County, where 20 percent of the 500-bed jail population is foreign, deporting every illegal immigrant arrested could have widespread implications.
Nevertheless, a member of the local legal establishment was hyperbolic in opposition:
Gainesville immigration lawyer David Kennedy calls Cronic's proposal to use the powers of 287(g) "a terrible idea."â€¦ Kennedy said using federal resources to deport mostly Hispanic laborers is wasteful in the post-9/11 era. "We have bigger fish to fry," Kennedy said. "Wasting national security resources by targeting dishwashers and yard men is bordering on treason." (VDARE.com emphasis)