Ice program will allow Smith County jail to identify immigrants

Cheryl Sanders
April 27, 2017

Additionally, 19 of those arrested had less serious or nonviolent violations that included larceny, petty theft, trespassing, driving under the influence, fraud and driving with no driver's license. Overall, 76 aliens were arrested across Florida and Puerto Rico.

Immigration officers arrested 20 people in Martin County during a four day sweep.

They are all now pending a removal hearing by an immigration judge.

Thirteen of those detained during the action are previously removed individuals who may be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for felony re-entry after deportation.

The Smith County Sheriff's Office has partnered with Immigration Customs Enforcement in a program that will allow the office to hold ICE detainees in the Smith County Jail. The subject has had an Immigration Removal Order since 2015.

The Bahamian citizen was arrested in Miami and is a green card holder who has convictions from 1995 for sexual assault, burglary, robbery, kidnapping an adult and was registered as a sex offender. As we've reported before, the term "sanctuary city" is a nebulous one with no real legal definition - something flexible that tends to bend to the whim of whichever politician is now stoking fear over undocumented immigrants. Consider that Houston's police chief has already said that the number of Hispanics reporting rape in that city is down 43 percent from past year and that reporting of other violent crimes saw a 13 percent dip, stats he's attributed to fear immigrants have over pending crackdowns at the state and federal levels.

Those arrested represented many countries throughout the world, including: Bahamas, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, South Africa, St. Kitts, Ukraine, Vietnam.

The agency said in a press release on Monday that nearly all of the arrested immigrants had criminal histories with convictions including homicide, aggravated assault, burglary, child abuse, domestic violence, and marijuana possession.

Smith said with the ICE technology here locally, jail staff can immediately identify illegal immigrants before they are able to bond out of jail.

During the targeted enforcement operations, ICE officers frequently encounter other aliens illegally present in the United States.

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