An excellent request from Rick Hickey. If you can't attend the public meeting you can copy and paste the below letter and email the commissioners. It's time to enforce the law.
Your voice is needed as the Marion County commissioners are now in the process of selecting a new Chief of Marion County Police. The Murder of Dani Countryman by two Illegals, of which one had been detained four times by Police and let go, is a painful reminder that the 287 g program could have stopped this from happening.
Please consider attending a Public Meeting this Wed. 8/15/07 at 9:00 a.m., Marion Co. Courthouse (building is in the Bus Depot downtown across from Statesman-Journal) 555 Court st. n.e., Salem.
EMAIL ALL THREE
Marion County Commissioners
PO Box 14500
Salem OR 97309
Re: Request for Marion County Police Agencies to join Federal 287(g) Program
Dear Marion Co. Commissioners:
We are requesting that the Commissioners of Marion County enter into agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to designate a group of County police officers via selection of the New Chief, to participate in the law enforcement partnership authorized by Section 287(g) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
The 287(g) program utilizes federal monies for local law enforcement officers to be trained and authorized to perform immigration law enforcement functions in the regular course of duty, such as identifying and detaining illegal aliens. Why is this in the interests of public safety? Even a simple traffic infraction could reveal that the violator is a fugitive from justice.
“There are about 3,500 fugitive immigrants in Oregon,” according to A. Neil Clark, Dept. of Homeland Security/Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) Field Director. (Statesman-Journal, 1/23/06), and over 500,000 nationwide. These are persons convicted of a crime and released on their own honor to leave the country. At present, they all know that a Marion County police officer will not check federal criminal data bases and that he/she may be released to commit even more crime. These fugitives are fleeing many other areas of America, knowing that any interaction with police could result in detainment and deportation.
“Sheriff's deputies in North Carolina (Mecklenburg County) have joined with federal agents in the detention and pending deportation of nearly 1,000 (now over 2,400) illegal aliens as part of a local-federal partnership,” reports an article in the Washington Times (11/28/06). "The mission of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office is to protect the citizens of Mecklenburg County," said Sheriff Jim Pendergraph. "I take those words very seriously. The 287(g) program is just another way to successfully remove from our country illegal aliens who prey on our citizens and commit crimes in our community."
This 287(g) program is now in effect in 22 Municipalities with another 75 recently applying. Waukegan, Illinois, just voted 8-2 to instruct police to use 287(g). This is an effective way for our police services to shift the financial burden of dealing with illegal aliens, since the Federal Government has largely abandoned its responsibilities for interior enforcement of the immigration laws, leaving state and local governments burdened with the consequences of out-of-control illegal immigration. Illegal alien criminals know where they can hide and where they cannot, and Oregon is quickly becoming the last place they can hide in America.
This 287(g) program will bring ICE cooperation with local authorities to remove criminal illegal aliens promptly from our jail system, saving us money and reducing the overcrowding of our jail space. Maricopa County in Arizona is also utilizing 287(g), and has saved millions of dollars via reduced need for bed space, health care, and legal representation expenses for illegal aliens.
Many illegal alien criminals are repeat offenders. “Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine examined the criminal histories of 100 illegal immigrants arrested and then released by local and state authorities in 2004, the latest complete data available,” according to an Associated Press article of Jan. 9, 2007. “Of the sample group of 100, according to the audit, 73 immigrants were later arrested a collective 429 times – on charges ranging from traffic tickets to weapons and drug charges”.
You should also be aware that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled on local police authority to inquire of immigration status several times, and said that it is a basic right. Here is the most recent example, a case involving Iris Mena: The Court of Appeals determined that the officers violated Mena’s Fourth Amendment rights by questioning her about her immigration status during the detention. 332 F.3d, at 1264—1266. This holding, it appears, was premised on the assumption that the officers were required to have independent reasonable suspicion in order to question Mena concerning her immigration status because the questioning constituted a discrete Fourth Amendment event. But the premise is faulty. We have “held repeatedly that mere police questioning does not constitute a seizure.” Florida v. Bostick, 501 U.S. 429, 434 (1991); see also INS v. Delgado, 466 U.S. 210, 212 (1984). Hence, the officers did not need reasonable suspicion to ask Mena for her name, date and place of birth, or immigration status. - SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES, No. 03—1423, DARIN L. MUEHLER, et al., PETITIONERS v. IRIS MENA, ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT [March 22, 2005]
Commissioners, I know of many Oregonians who are sick of reading about victims and their families suffering needlessly ( Dani Countryman for example), who would not have had a tragedy occur, if the criminal illegal alien had been deported, as per the laws of the United States. We hope that you seriously discuss and vote to require our New Chief to join the 287(g) program and help stop the tragedies occurring to law-abiding citizens in our County. We want these criminals to understand that they are not welcome in Marion County, that they will be held for ICE to pick up, and that they will be deported.
You are in the position to activate 287(g) in Marion County, and you have the overwhelming support of voters to take advantage of this opportunity to reduce criminal activity.
Thank you for your consideration.
[Put your name here]
Rick Hickey, Vice President
Oregonians for Immigration Reform