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287(g) Program In Prince William Almost Certain Now

By Greg L | 20 December 2006 | Manassas City, Prince William County | 6 Comments

Yesterday the Board of County Supervisors had a presentation from Chief Deane and Robert Hines from the Department of Homeland Security about the Section 287(g) Program and what it would mean for Prince William County. In a stunning turnaround, not only did the Chief reccomend engaging in the program at the Adult Detention Center, but Manassas City Police Chief Skinner, who had been a vocal opponent of the program provided a strong endorsement as well. They even went so far as to suggest the possibility of having some officers assigned to specialized task forces obtain training under the program as well. Although they do have concerns, it clearly seems that after listening to Bob Hines talk a few times about the program and clear up some of the widely held misconceptions, they are now solidly on board.

It’s worth mentioning that now-Delegate Jackson Miller is the one who started this ball rolling when he suggested this program for Manassas City back this spring. At the time it was widely thought this was a bad idea and a risky political move for a House of Delegates candidate. Since then he’s managed to educate and rally the Manassas City Council around the idea, it’s now under active consideration in Prince William County, and legislation has been proposed in the House of Delegates to implement this program with the state police. He started this whole thing before he even had the Republican nomination for the 50th, and now it’s one of the most popular legislative priorities in the state. Pretty impressive.

During the presentation we learned that the police department already has some ability to turn criminal aliens over to ICE for deportation. The Northern Virginia Gang Task Force has turned about 300 illegals over to ICE for deportation, but outside of that Chief Deane was unable to recall a single instance where this has been done outside of the auspices of this task force, despite a current illegal alien population at the Adult Detention Center of 54 felons. Under the ICE program a trained officer would have the authority, under the ICE supervsion, to immediately process all of these 54 aliens who have been convicted of a felony who currently are held in the detention center for deportation, along with any number of the 34 illegals currently held for serious misdemeanors, as well as any new detainees that show up. The Section 287(g) program would take us from zero to perhaps as many as one hundred deportations a year.

The Board of Supervisors seemed very eager to adopt the program, and to me it looks like it has unanimous support. I’m certain the program will be adopted at the next meeting of the Board in January.

For more coverage, the Manassas Journal-Messenger has a disappointing article which looks like it came from a different meeting. In that article, entitled “Chief Against ICE Training”, they actually disclose that he’s in favor of it. My guess is that the editors hacked Keith’s article to bits and gave it a misleading headline, as I cannot believe he’d get that from the meeting.

UPDATE For more analysis on this, see this excellent post over at Conservative Politics.

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  1. Joe said on 20 Dec 2006 at 10:49 am:
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    Do the criminals have to serve out their sentence before being deported? What about the concern that after these felons are deported they will sneak back into the United States soon after arriving ‘home.’ I’m just curious ….

  2. AWCheney said on 20 Dec 2006 at 11:24 am:
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    I believe, Joe, that they must serve their sentences first, but that’s only based on folklore. Maybe someone familiar with immigration law reads this blog and can answer that question.

  3. Greg L said on 20 Dec 2006 at 2:29 pm:
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    Yes, from the presentation the deportations happen after the sentences are completed. We may have to revisit some of the legislation passed over the last several years regarding parole in order to get them out of our system earlier, but this has both negative as well as positive implications.

    At least this would ensure that those released from custody are not released directly back into the local community.

  4. Big Dog said on 20 Dec 2006 at 3:21 pm:
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    Know this isn’t exactly on topic, but I want to thank
    Wally Covington for standing up and asking a core
    question - how much do illegal immigrants cost LOCAL
    government? (See piece on op/ed page of today’s WaPo).

    We should be able to get a ball park number even if PWC
    staff seems to want to drag their feet.

    Then, we can deal with facts - and not just the raw
    emotion on both sides of this issue.

    My bet is that illegal immigration will prove to add
    some revenue at the federal and state levels, but
    is a huge drain on LOCAL resources.

    Plus, all we get from Washington and Richmond now are
    unfunded mandates and costly lawsuits. They
    won’t help us and attack us when we try to help

  5. Citizenofmanassas said on 20 Dec 2006 at 3:56 pm:
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    Well, I have to give credit to both Deane and Skinner for their support of this program. Perhaps, they have had time to rethink their position and realized how stupid it was for them to hold such an opionion with the jobs they hold.

  6. Andy H said on 20 Dec 2006 at 6:29 pm:
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    Greg is right, sentences must be served first in VA as Allen did away with parole (not a crticism). However, in CA they addressed this by allowing the criminal to serve part of his sentence (I think it’s a percentage) and then turning them over to ICE. There’s upside and there’s a distinct negative.

    Distinct upside is that we don’t have to pay room and board for a criminal alien and we get that same person out of the country.

    Downside is that criminal aliens know that after X years they will be shipped home and are free to do whatever. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to see the look of horror on someone’s face when they realize the recently convicted scumbag who murdered their loved one will be sent home in the not too distant future.

    It’s a real balancing act and we may end up with a conditional parole law that doesn’t deport the violent felons or some such.

    BTW, I expect the dog is right. Federal and State gov’t are not much help to the locals. There has been a decades long drive in Washington to push responsibilities down to the local level. When it first started (as such things do), it included money. Now it is just mandates and the money is spent building “Fortress Washington” or underground visitor centers or whatever the congress critters want.

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