Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Law


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Thin Black Line
August 28, 2006, 09:26 AM
Is it true that local LEOs can not arrest illegal aliens just for being in the
country illegally, ie, their status alone?

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Art Eatman
August 28, 2006, 10:38 AM
Good question. I've seen that opinion uttered, but usually by somebody who goes to neck-hugging on illegals.

Generally, local police don't INVESTIGATE stuff that's a federal matter, but I don't see how an arrest of any crook is out of local authority. Dangfino.

Art

Father Knows Best
August 28, 2006, 10:50 AM
Regardless of whether non-federal LEO's are legally entitled to arrest illegal aliens, they generally won't for very practical reasons. First, unless the person has violated a law that the agency can charge them for, they are going to have to release them or promptly transfer them to an agency with jurisdiction. Since INS is underfunded and understaffed and has a huge backlog, already, it doesn't want local LEO's out there arresting undocumented individuals, and typically will not accept transfers. There are plenty of reports of local LEO's arresting suspected illegals, calling INS, and having INS tell the local LEO to let them go if they can't be charged with violating some other law.

Since that's what is going to happen, why waste your local LEO resources and jail space arresting them in the first place? There are far better things the LEO's can typically be doing with their time.

SigLaw
August 28, 2006, 10:54 AM
It is up to the local jurisdiction as to whether they want their LEO to arrest for immigration violations. There was a recent (not sure when) act or bill that permitted such enforcement.

Coronach
August 28, 2006, 11:55 AM
Immigration is a federal offense. State and local police have no arrest powers in reference to it. This is the same thing that prevents FBI agents from sitting on the local freeways and writing speeding tickets (that and, I imagine, a profound lack of interest).

Now, what the police can and should do is arrest individuals based upon crimes that they commit (disorderly conduct, driving without a license, DUI, public intox, theft, rape, murder, drug dealing, etc) and, if they suspect someone of being an illegal immigrant, advise the Fed.gov guys that there is a potential illegal alien being detained at XYZ county jail. The Fed.gov guys can come out and pick him up, and send him back home when he gets released.

They adamantly refuse to do that.

Read that last sentence again.

For the past several years I have been hauling people off to jail, and whenever I get one that I suspect strongly is an illegal, I make sure I alert the INS (now ICE and/or homeland security). The staff at the jail should be doing the same (if they're not, they should be required to do so). All the feds would have to do is pull up in a bus and they could deport dozens, every day, from our one county alone. This is the fallacy of the "we don't have the resources to round them up" crowd...they're already being rounded up, every day. And released. And rounded up again.

The feds, thus far, have not been doing anything about the illegals we hand to them on a silver platter, pre-caught, pre-cooked, pre-cleaned.

Mike

Coronach
August 28, 2006, 11:56 AM
It is up to the local jurisdiction as to whether they want their LEO to arrest for immigration violations. There was a recent (not sure when) act or bill that permitted such enforcement.Cite? First I've heard of it (doesn't make it not-so, of course...).

Mike

longeyes
August 28, 2006, 12:24 PM
Thanks for corroborating what some of us already suspected: that the fish rots from the head. The people who run America have no intention of doing anything about illegal immigration that we the people don't compel them to do. They are quite fine with being lawless themselves while preaching obedience to "the law." I guess they are content to have cynical citizens; I wonder how content they will be in a few years.

beerslurpy
August 28, 2006, 12:32 PM
Florida LE apparently cant arrest based on federal immigration, but they can arrest for state level violations like not having a driver's license, committing a crime against someone, driving drunk, etc.

Coronach
August 28, 2006, 01:12 PM
In defense of the Feds, it does cost money to round up the prisoners, go through the necessary hearings, and ship them back. Right now I imagine that the money needed to do that is not being allocated. That is the fault of the higher-ups in the agencies in question, and the politicians.

But, there are pre-caught illegals waiting in county jails from sea to shining sea, just waiting for the government to develop the will to pick them up and send them home. The next time some idjit gets on the tube and blathers that rounding them up is an insurmountable problem, feel free to remind them of this fact.

The best part is that simply shipping back the caught ones has the effect of helping to filter out the criminals, as opposed to the ones who just came here to escape grinding poverty and want to work for a living.

Mike

Frog48
August 28, 2006, 02:40 PM
Immigration is a federal offense. State and local police have no arrest powers in reference to it.

You're confusing arrest power with prosecutorial power.

State and local can make arrests for violations of federal law (ancillary to an investigation pertaining to state law, typically), and then pass the suspect to the feds for prosecution. However, the reverse is not true. The feds generally cannot arrest for state law and local ordinance violations.

El Tejon
August 28, 2006, 03:45 PM
Coronach's experience matches my own, pre-9/11 law enforcement service.

When we prosecuted non-citizens, we would contact (then) INS. We were told that they were not interested. They did show up for a ring of thieves from Czech Republic (joining cleaning services and cleaning out Wal-Mart and offices). I nearly fell over.

Same thing happened with felons with firearms. I would call the NDI USA and would be told that they decline to prosecute over and over again. Did take one--convicted sex offender (child molest) with pistol (.32 NEF, IRRC) in a bar.

Just to clarify, many states have specific statutes permitting feds to arrest for violations of state law (usually under specific circumstances--violent misdemeanor or felony in presence). E.g., Indiana's 35-33-1-1(b) allows feds who are full time and can pack to arrest for a felony in the fed's presence.

Father Knows Best
August 28, 2006, 04:17 PM
Caveat: while I am an attorney, I know next to nothing about immigration law.

That said(tm), my understanding is that anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally is entitled to due process of law prior to deportation. That means that INS has to store them somewhere, and hold a hearing prior to putting them on a bus or plane to wherever INS thinks they ought to be. as you've probably heard, our prisons (both state and federal) are already overflowing with people who have committed crimes of a non-immigration nature, such as crimes of violence, fraud, tax evasion, drug crimes, etc. While INS has some detention facilities, it apparently doesn't have anywhere near enough space to handle all of the suspected illegals who are caught every year, whether by INS, other federal agencies, or state and local law enforcement. Even if it did, there aren't enough attorneys, clerks and hearing officers to process all of the hearings that would be required. Thus, INS generally discourages state and local law enforcement from rounding up or arresting individuals solely on the basis that they are suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.

Wasn't there a riot a few years back at a federal prison caused in part by frustrated illegals who had been held for years without getting a hearing on whether they would be deported?

roo_ster
August 28, 2006, 10:10 PM
I bet Sheriff Joe Arpaio (sp?) could figure out a way to store all the illegals on the cheap while the federales figured out what to do with them.

Frog48
August 28, 2006, 10:18 PM
I bet Sheriff Joe Arpaio (sp?) could figure out a way to store all the illegals on the cheap while the federales figured out what to do with them.

Hahahaha, so true.

crazed_ss
August 28, 2006, 10:23 PM
From what Iv'e heard, the cops around here dont want to enforce immigration laws. It's too much of a burden. The SDPD could spend all day going down to home depot and day worker sites picking people up and filling up the jails.. of course this keeps them from stopping other crimes.

Biker
August 28, 2006, 10:38 PM
Of course, many of the "other crimes" are commited by illegals. Why not be proactive?

Biker

Bartholomew Roberts
August 28, 2006, 11:06 PM
That said(tm), my understanding is that anyone suspected of being in the U.S. illegally is entitled to due process of law prior to deportation. That means that INS has to store them somewhere, and hold a hearing prior to putting them on a bus or plane to wherever INS thinks they ought to be. as you've probably heard, our prisons (both state and federal) are already overflowing with people who have committed crimes of a non-immigration nature, such as crimes of violence, fraud, tax evasion, drug crimes, etc. While INS has some detention facilities, it apparently doesn't have anywhere near enough space to handle all of the suspected illegals who are caught every year, whether by INS, other federal agencies, or state and local law enforcement. Even if it did, there aren't enough attorneys, clerks and hearing officers to process all of the hearings that would be required. Thus, INS generally discourages state and local law enforcement from rounding up or arresting individuals solely on the basis that they are suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.

This is pretty much my understanding of the situation as well (though I am not a lawyer). If USCIS (US Customs and Immigration Service) attempts to detain you then you get a hearing before an Immigration Judge. If that hearing doesn't go your way, you can appeal it to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). Once all your administrative appeals have been exhausted you can attempt to bring it up with the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, though your options to get standing before that court are severely limited by Congress. If the alien has no money at all, he'll be gone as soon as he makes it past the BIA stage. If he has enough money to hire a smart immigration lawyer, he will probably be here for years before it all gets sorted out and probably walking free around town as well.

Post 9/11 our immigration law is pretty well hosed - people with advanced engineering and science degrees who represent the cream of the global crop have a difficult time entering the country legally to work here and make American businesses more profitable and smarter. We could be siphoning off the best minds in the world from our economic competitors. Instead, we basically encourage them to go work for economies like China and India that will be competing with us in the next 20 years.

At the same time, we don't apply that screening at all to unskilled labor - and the U.S. isn't going to beat China in the global economy with unskilled labor.

Waitone
August 29, 2006, 12:22 AM
Meanwhile people die and it seems the legal system is tangled up in its underwear.
http://www.immigrationshumancost.org/
This is Jorge Hernandez, aka Jorge Soto, the illegal alien accused of killing Min Soon Chang, an 18-year-old college freshman, shown just below, in a terrible head-on wreck while Hernandez was driving drunk. Now more facts are coming out about this man, such as the fact that he had been arrested three previous times for drunk driving in three other states. One report says he was sent back to Mexico 17 times!
This is just the sort of case that Rep. Sue Myrick hopes to prevent with her proposed legislation that would require immediate deportation for any drunk-driving illegal alien. She called the tragedy a wake-up call and said, "It's so senseless, it's so senseless. The issue is that you're legal, or you're illegal."
Here is a transcript of Rep. Myrick discussing the issue and her bill with Lou Dobbs. http://www.immigrationshumancost.org/
Eighteen-year-old Min Soon Chang never had a chance. The UNC Charlotte freshman was struck head-on by a drunk illegal alien driving at an estimated 100 miles per hour on the wrong side of Interstate 485. Min was described as outgoing by family and friends, and was enrolled as a pre-business student.
The illegal alien identified himself as Jorge Hernandez, 35, and said he didn't have an address. Police said that he had driven 20 miles on the wrong side of the highway, and other drivers described having close calls. One of the first police officers on the accident scene was C.L. Amaral, who described Hernandez as smelling strongly of alcohol and "totally out of it."
Hernandez has been charged with driving while impaired and involuntary manslaughter.

U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., is working on legislation that would strengthen penalties against illegal immigrants who are convicted of DWI. She became vocal about the issue when Scott Gardner, a Gaston County teacher, was killed in July by an illegal immigrant who was driving drunk.
On Friday, she commented on "another bright young life lost."
"I hope that this -- as far as our committees are concerned -- will make a difference," Myrick said. "This is just another example of why we need the legislation." ["Illegal immigrant charged in fatal wreck"]

Update 11/21: Now that Hernandez has sobered up, he has admitted his status: "Driver in crash says he's illegal". He describes himself as an agricultural worker who has been here three years.

Trooper Brian Huffstickler of the N.C. Highway Patrol said Hernandez also could face second-degree murder charges if police find out he has prior DWI convictions.
"He has blown all safe driving rules out the window," Huffstickler said. Sad but the story is repeated all over the country. We seem to be enamoured with legal process and ignore the result.

Doug.38PR
August 29, 2006, 01:05 AM
Immigration is a federal offense. State and local police have no arrest powers in reference to it.

I thought local police were to uphold all laws local, state and federal

Thin Black Line
August 29, 2006, 08:00 AM
I brought this up because I've heard different local LEO responses to its
enforcement around the country. Some places will arrest and hold on
immigration status alone while many others will not. I think the majority
do not across a few counties that I routinely travel/work in.

I also put this into the context of a recent article I read that US military
AWOL/deserters would have a federal arrest warrant issued on the computer
and then local LEOs would arrest and detain them for that after the person
had been pulled over for speeding.

Granted we are talking about X,000 awol as opposed to 1X,000,000 illegals.
But, it is still interesting about the informal "catch and release" handling of
the later.

Bartholomew Roberts
August 29, 2006, 11:00 AM
Some places will arrest and hold on
immigration status alone while many others will not. I think the majority
do not across a few counties that I routinely travel/work in.

Few police departments here arrest on immigration status alone. The idea behind the policy is that because illegal immigrants fear going to police to report a crime due to their status, they are often prey for criminal predators of all types.

I know departments like Austin make it a policy not to arrest on immigration status alone for precisely this reason. They want to encourage even illegal aliens to report crimes so they can get to the predators. Overall I think it is a good policy. I would like to see our immigration laws enforced; but I'd much prefer not to let the local predators get fat and well-fed on a group that doesn't report crime. Eventually they will start causing trouble for those of us that do.

slzy
August 29, 2006, 02:48 PM
not enforcing immigration laws seems like de facto criminal conspiracy.

B.D. Turner
August 29, 2006, 03:25 PM
INS will not come to pick up illegals in North Carolina. I have stopped several truckloads of illegals had INS called and they did nothing or said get their names and we will get back with you later. Fake immigration cards are bought for $200 for another $100 they get a fake social security card. Over the years I could have filled a shoe box full of fake ID's. A deported illegal will be back next week. I have seen it over and over.
We had an illegal here that lived with white women whom he liked to beat and rape when he was drunk. My first case with him he had beat his girlfirend and put her in the hospital. This happened several times later with other women who took him in. He was charged with a felony but was deported instead of going to prison. Less than a year later he is back in our county and shot a man with a shotgun nearly killing him. He was arrested about six months later and deported again. Our last dealings with him were three years ago. He was drinking and stabbed and cut up his two drinking buddies nearly killing both. Both victims remained in CCU for several weeks. After an extensive search we have never found him. We had information that he couldn't remain in mexico because of a murder there that he had committed. Does anyone else see a problem with our system?

Bartholomew Roberts
August 29, 2006, 03:32 PM
We had an illegal here that lived with white women whom he liked to beat and rape when he was drunk.

I'm kind of curious why you felt it was necessary to explain that the women were white? Would it have been more acceptable if he had beaten and raped only his own race?

Waitone
August 29, 2006, 04:14 PM
I'm kind of curious why you felt it was necessary to explain that the women were white? Would it have been more acceptable if he had beaten and raped only his own race? I kind of curions if you feel his comments are any less valid because he did mention the victim's race?

B.D. Turner
August 29, 2006, 05:07 PM
Sorry if I offended you Bart.
No it would not matter if the victims had been black white, asian or mexican. In this case the guy always lived with white low income women six that we know of. When you are hunting a wanted man it is important to know his personal patterns. This is not to say that he couldn't live with wealthy women of another race. But this was his pattern. This was in no way intended to be a racial statement.

Thin Black Line
August 29, 2006, 05:20 PM
BD Turner,

You live in NC --have you ever held an AWOL and waited for a pickup?

B.D. Turner
August 29, 2006, 05:32 PM
I have picked up one sailor that had been AWOL x3 months. They sent two MP's from Camp Lejeune to pick him up from the jail. The Highway Patrol picked up a guy on a DWI who missed a movement and went AWOL during the first gulf war. Two MP's from Bragg came and picked him up. Jacksonville N.C. PD used to pick up AWOL marines pretty regular. We have many large bases here in NC and not all of their employees work out.

Thin Black Line
August 29, 2006, 05:44 PM
So only a couple over the years. But the numbers speak for themselves
and, of course, a handful of AWOL soldiers are easier to federally enforce
than a tidal wave coming over an open border.

There have actually been a few thousand "non-citizens" who have joined
the military after crossing the border and their status is known. I believe
it's actually legal for them to do this and, personally, I have no problem
with it. What better way to earn citizenship!

Wouldn't it be interesting if the same percentage of illegals joined the US
military out of those who cross over as the percentage of our native born
population who volunteer out of the masses?......Hmmmm.....anyone have
the numbers? I think this might speak volumes about us as a nation right
now.......

cassandrasdaddy
August 29, 2006, 06:04 PM
"There have actually been a few thousand "non-citizens" who have joined
the military after crossing the border and their status is known. I believe
it's actually legal for them to do this and, personally, I have no problem
with it. What better way to earn citizenship!"

how do you feel about deporting oneof these soldierrs mom and dad while hes in iraq?

Art Eatman
August 29, 2006, 06:11 PM
:barf:

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