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Chatham commissioners should not worry about criminals being inconvenienced

By Brian Bock
Posted Wednesday, January 21, 2009

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Pittsboro, NC - The Chatham Board of Commissioners is off to a dubious start.

One of their first acts of the year was to pass a resolution opposing Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The program authorizes cooperation among local law enforcement and immigration agents to reduce crime and improve safety in our communities. Specially trained officers would have been able to identify, process, and when appropriate, detain immigration offenders they encounter during their daily law-enforcement activity.

Reasons cited for their opposition include; fear of racial profiling and the separation of families leading to mental health problems, emotional trauma and psycho-social duress.

The program can’t make someone a racist. Our officers would not start raiding houses looking for Hispanics. 287(g) involves questioning and possible prolonging the detention of criminals who have been detained for breaking the law!

As for separating a criminal from his or her family, of course it would! Any time a criminal is sent to prison they are separated from their family. Breaking the law should have consequences. If you don’t want to be separated from your family, don’t break the law. Would a legal citizen of the county be able to ask a judge to spare him jail time due to the emotional trauma and psycho-social duress it might cause? Of course not. Should illegal aliens be granted more rights than a legal citizen? No, but that is exactly what the BOC has done.

What the BOC doesn’t tell us in their 31 pages of supporting data is that the program helped Prince William County, VA begin deportation proceedings for hundreds of criminals in the first six months. Felons deported include gang members, rapists, identity thieves, child abusers, and chronic drunken drivers. Many of these criminals would never have been identified if not for the cooperation among local law enforcement and immigration agents. Hundreds of criminals will no longer be on the streets to commit more crimes and they won’t be crowding local jails at the expense of legal citizens.

In Charlotte, DUI-related arrests of Hispanic persons decreased by 63% after one year of participating in the program. By most people’s math, fewer drunk drivers and fewer criminals on the streets equal a safer community.

The BOC would serve us better by concentrating on the rule of law rather than worrying about criminals being inconvenienced.

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