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Fairfax gearing up for federal illegal immigrant checks at jails

Fairfax County officials are pushing to get the local sheriff to hurry up and institute a new federal program that will automate illegal immigrant fingerprint checks at local jails.

"Immigration reform and enforcement is an extremely sensitive and complex federal issue but one with very real local impact, and one this board should have a detailed discussion on soon," said Supervisor Patrick S. Herrity (R-Springfield). "One area where I think we all do agree is that those who are here illegally and commit serious or violent crimes should be removed from the community and deported."

This past fall, Herrity asked Fairfax County Sheriff Stan Barry about the Secure Communities program, a federal effort to streamline fingerprint checks on suspected illegal immigrants arrested on suspicion of other crimes. Barry said his office's application to the federal 287(g) program -- essentially a local agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold and turn over suspected criminal illegal immigrants -- was rejected after officials said they were swamped with requests. Instead, Barry said, his office had begun evaluating the Secure Communities program.

Now Herrity is asking for more details on the new request, including when Barry is expected to institute the program and the numbers of inmates housed in Fairfax County jails who are accused of serious or violent crimes. Barry was invited to update the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

The Fairfax County Sheriff's Office was the first law enforcement agency in the Washington region to receive access to Secure Communities, which will enable ICE agents to check available criminal and immigration records of every individual booked by sheriff's deputies.

The focus will be on identifying criminal aliens who have been convicted of Level 1 crimes, which include major drug offenses and violent offenses, such as murder, rape, robbery and kidnapping. ICE agents plan to interview inmates using video teleconferencing equipment in the county's Adult Detention Center.

In March, Barry called the program a "win-win situation." "We will be able to identify illegal immigrants who commit crimes in Fairfax County and get them in the process for deportation, and it does not require additional funds or manpower from us," he said.

Inmates' fingerprints also will be checked against criminal records in the Department of Justice's biometric system, which is maintained by the FBI, and biometrics-based records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security

Earlier this month, the Fairfax County Sheriff's Office announced a nearly $1.5 million reimbursement grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for portions of the costs of incarcerating undocumented aliens accused of serious crimes.

The grant came from the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which provides federal grants to states and localities that have incurred salary costs for incarcerating illegal aliens. The Sheriff's Office was one of only 900 (out of 3,140) eligible departments nationwide that got the funding help; Fairfax County hired a Dallas consulting firm, Justice Benefits Inc., to help obtain the "hard-to-find" federal reimbursement.

Meanwhile, Manassas, Prince William and Loudoun counties are entering into new agreements with the Department of Homeland Security for the 287(g) local illegal immigration enforcement program. All participating agencies were told to accept a new agreement by mid-October or be dropped from the program; the changes are meant to standardize the program after a U.S. Government Accountability Office report concluded that some of the agencies in the program had overstepped their authority.

By Derek Kravitz  |  October 19, 2009; 4:16 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax County Board of Supervisors  
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Comments

Our government fails the most basic and primary task & duty of government, to protect this Nation and its Citizens from invasion and enforce its laws.
Our Government, past & present, Republican & Democrat, have allowed the invasion of 20 to 30 million criminals and uneducated peons which is the largest invasion of any Nation, at any time, by any means & in direct violation of Article IV Section IV of our Constitution.
This refusal to abide by our Constitution or enforce our Immigration Laws should be classified as Treason of the most foul kind, & as grounds for impeachment & trials for Treason!
Not only have they allowed the invasion, they force American tax payers to pay Billions on Billions of dollars to provide Welfare, Prison cells, Educate the invaders numerous children, and free medical care, at the same time the invading horde break numerous laws and massive document fraud, & are destroying our schools, hospitals, communities, culture and standard of living while Robbing, Raping, Killing & Assaulting American Citizens at an rate the terrorist can only dream about.
Recent statements in Mexico from both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary something needs to be done. "Our inability to prevent weapons from being illegally smuggled across the border to arm these criminals causes the deaths of police officers, soldiers, and civilians," Hillary whined.
But no mention, whines, concern or care that their refusal to stop the Massive Invasion of Illegal Aliens pouring across our borders or enforce our immigration laws that causes an estimated 25 Americans deaths per day and 10,s of thousands victims of Assault, Robberies, Rapes, Identify thief, and other assorted crimes committed by the invading horde of Illegal Aliens from Mexico on American citizens each year!
It is a telling indictment & shows their Empathy & Compassion of our Politicians & their priorities are not for the American citizens when they express more concern over Mexicans deaths mostly connected to the Drug trade, than the murders, havoc & crimes of Illegal Aliens against American Citizens!
The Democrats view the invading horde of Criminals and Uneducated third world rejects as Undocumented Welfare Democrats & the Republicans as Undocumented Slave labor for their Pay Masters in the Chamber of Commerce & Businesses!
Most of our Politicians in Wash. DC are wading knee deep in innocent American blood and suffering because they put Self Interest ahead of the interest of American Citizens & the future of this Nation!
The Citizens of this Nation have not sacrificed with blood, sweat & tears for over 200 years & obeyed the Laws of the land, paid the taxes, and fought the wars & built this Nation to see Corrupt politicians turn this Nation into the United States of Mexico without a shot being fired, to serve their demented, nefarious goals and lust for power!

Posted by: american1 | October 19, 2009 7:33 PM | Report abuse

I think the first comment says it all but who is going to fix the problem.
We elect people that want to get more votes and stay in office.
We have a never ending vote counter and cheap labor in the south.
I cant see anyone fixing it soon....sorry

Posted by: captgrumpy | October 19, 2009 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Congress is asking citizens and permanent residents, to sign their own death warrant approving AMNESTY to 20 to 30 million illegal immigrants. Our immigration laws are already a laughable facade. The only people to profit from the outrageous hordes pouring across the undermanned border every day is parasite businesses. Learn the truth not lies about the illegal immigration invasion at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH & CAPSWEB. BOMBARD YOUR SENATOR AND CONGRESSMAN/WOMAN AT 202-224-3121. TELL THEM NO MORE AMNESTIES. SECURE OUR BORDER AND DEPORT EVERY ILLEGAL ALIEN USING E-VERIFY AS AN EJECTION TOOL. THIS IS NOT ABOUT RACISM THIS IS ABOUT AMERICAN WORKERS SURVIVAL?

Posted by: infinity555 | October 19, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

So much ignorance and yes, hatred, out there about the issues around immigrants.

Invasion? Please. Then we are ALL invaders!

At any rate, the 287(g) program, as Herrity said (and I voted for Bulova) is one area where we can all agree, ICE involvement is needed, good, and helps clear unproductive and dangerous people who should not be here from our country.

Now, if the Congress would wrap up this over-extended health care fiasco with a strong bill so we could move on to other very important issues, including comprehensive immigration reform, we could have some good things happen on this front that will remove the prospect of life in the shadows for millions of hard-working American immigrants who are contributing positively to our nation's economy and looking for a better life, just as our founding fathers did.

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | October 20, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

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