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July 14, 2017

Keeping Our County Safe

Guest Columnist

Kirby Delauter


A hot button issue these days is the 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program here in Frederick County. The county’s website provides a description of the program as it is implemented by our Sheriff’s Department.


“In 2008 Sheriff (Chuck) Jenkins entered into a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs office to begin to 287(g) Criminal Alien Program within the Sheriff’s Office. This partnership entailed training office personnel from both the Detention Center and Law Enforcement Operations to become authorized to identify and begin deportation proceedings against illegal aliens committing crimes within Frederick County. The Sheriff’s Office is one of only six Sheriff’s Offices nationwide that participate in both the jail enforcement program and the law enforcement task program.


Sheriff’s Office members (16 correctional officers and 10 law enforcement deputies) completed training in 2008, and the program officially started on August 1, 2008. The 287(g) Criminal Alien Program has been a valuable resource for deputies as well as allied agencies. The partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement continues as a seamless partnership.”


Now, you may ask why is this program necessary, and why do I support it?


It’s very simple. I support it because it makes sense, and because our sheriff sees value in it. The subjects of this program are not “undocumented,” as some want to call these individuals. They are already breaking the law when they come here illegally, and many continue to break the law once they have arrived.


An old analogy begs the question: if I go to the bank, pull a gun, and make an “undocumented” withdrawal, would that be legal? No, it’s called theft; it breaks a law that we have on the books; and in a society of laws, those laws must be enforced, especially when those who break the laws show a disregard for them time and time again.


The so-called liberal “elitists” from Washington to Hollywood have made their stance on this issue known – they disregard the threats posed by illegal immigration in favor of arguments about morality. They oppose any and all efforts to build a wall along border with Mexico; and, then, they return to their mansions, passing through a gated wall that protects them along the way. They’re all too happy to hire illegal immigrants and pay them below-market wages to be their landscapers, their maids, and their gardeners, and then they go on television and tell the rest of us that our economic anxiety is simply a product of our own intolerance.


County Executive Jan Gardner has been planting the seeds to eliminate the 287(g) program, which, by default, would make Frederick County a “sanctuary county” for illegal immigrants.


Do you want to see our home become a “sanctuary county?” I don’t. This would make our streets less safe, strip the Sheriff’s Department of a valuable law enforcement tool, and place a further burden on the county resources that Democrats have raised your taxes to pay for.


So, if we follow Ms. Gardner’s lead and make Frederick County a “sanctuary county,” we must be prepared for increased crime, higher taxes, and a decline in the quality of life as we enjoy here. One doesn’t need to look farther than Montgomery County or Baltimore City to observe the effects of this politically-motivated policy decision. We can be sure that the two liberal executives of those communities have been whispering in Gardner’s ear.


I ask you to approach this issue with a bit of common sense that is sorely missed in county government these days. It’s safe to assume that most of us lock our doors at night. Correct? Why do we do that? Because we know that a threat to ourselves, our family, and our home does exist, even if we don’t directly observe it, and that deadbolt on our door is a valuable tool to combat it. We know that when that door is locked, anyone who wants to come in will have to knock first.


If you follow the logic of Ms. Gardner and those who want “sanctuary status” in Frederick County, we should leave our doors unlocked so that anyone can enter our homes, eat our food, watch our televisions, use our bathrooms, and sleep in our beds. And then, when they make a mess, break a dish, or steal our things, we should ask them to stay a little longer instead of making them leave.


I’m fairly certain that none of us would tolerate such a policy in our own homes, so why should we expect that it’s a good policy for our county. That’s because it isn’t; it’s a dangerous idea.


I’m completely opposed to it, and I will support Sheriff Jenkins in his fight to keep the 287(g) program in place as a common-sense tool to keep the people of Frederick County safe and protected. Anything less is irresponsible, reckless, and doesn’t prioritize the safety and security of our tax-paying, legal residents, who should always come first with our elected officials.


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