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November 13, 2009

A Job Well Done…

Joe Charlebois

The demonization of the Frederick County Sheriff’s office continues.  The latest attempt to derail the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency’s 287(g) program has reached the top steps of the federal courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland.


The program – which allows for local and state law enforcement agencies to cooperate with the federal agency in matters of illegal immigration – has come under assault by “civil rights” groups due to perceived targeting of individuals based on ethnic reasons alone.


Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, Deputy Jeffrey Openshaw, another unnamed deputy, the Frederick County Commissioners as well as immigration officials are facing a federal lawsuit for alleged civil rights abuses that stem from an arrest in October 2008.


The complainant, Roxana Orellana Santos – who is supported by CASA de Maryland, Latino Justice PRLDEF (Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund) and represented by Washington, D.C. law firm of Nixon Peabody LLP – states that she was arrested while eating lunch solely due to the fact that she was Hispanic.


According to the arresting officers, they were doing a routine surveillance of the Evergreen shopping center when Ms. Santos took off running. At this, the officers followed Ms. Santos and asked for identification. After denying she had any identification, she finally produced an El Salvadoran national identification card.


Ms. Santos, who has admitted to living in the United States as an illegal alien since October of 2005, was taken into custody of the deputies when it became clear that she had violated previous orders to appear before an immigration judge from a previous arrest. There was an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation warrant for her arrest due to this failure to appear and the deputies acted on this appropriately.


The Frederick News-Post’s Nicholas C. Stern and Meg Tully fail to mention in the November 10th article that Ms. Santos was wanted by ICE.


This is possibly the most crucial part of the argument. If there were no warrant, and Ms. Santos had not fled from the officers in the first place, this would never have surfaced.


The fact that the arresting deputies were not part of the ICE trained staff is not relevant in this case. Based upon suspicious behavior, the deputies questioned Ms. Santos and discovered that there was a warrant for her arrest. She was then detained and taken into custody where ICE officials took over the case.


The fact that groups like Latino Justice – which originated to help legal Puerto Rican residents in New York – are now defending the actions of illegal immigrants shows how pursuit of power and money can corrupt an organization.


Sheriff Chuck Jenkins and ICE have worked in cooperation to stem the tide of illegal immigration. The department was recognized recently for the arrest and deportation of 500 illegal immigrants under the 287(g) program in a little more than a year.


As ICE has recognized the sheriff’s efforts in combating illegal immigration, we too should applaud the sheriff for his dedication to the task at hand.


Congratulations Sheriff Jenkins on your team’s 500th arrest.


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Thought for the day:


For those who think that information should be shared between local and federal agencies because “it’s their jurisdiction,” should remember that there was a wall to limit communication between agencies prior to the attacks on September 11th, 2001.


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