How many times have we heard mayors and governors, when faced with complaints regarding illegal aliens, claim that their police officers aren't authorized or trained to enforce immigration laws? Too many times, if you ask me. Well, either these government leaders are too ignorant to to hold office or they're out-and-out lying to the American people.
The Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement dierctorate recently authorized 16 additional Alabama state troopers to enforce federal immigration law, following their completion of ICE training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, AL.
A Florida deputy sheriff was also authorized to enforce federal immigration law after participating in the same class. That graduating class boosted the number of Alabama troopers trained and certified to a total of 60.
The Immigration and Nationality Act includes section 287(g), added in 1996, that grants local and state jurisdictions the ability to enforce immigration law with proper training and supervision by federal authorities. In 2003, Alabama became the second state in the nation to participate in the program by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security. Florida was the first state to participate, in 2002.
While many politicians claim their police officers are not allowed to conduct immigration laws, their excuse for ignoring illegal aliens is a canard. Too few police agencies are taking advantage of the training offered by ICE and DHS.
“Partnerships with our state and local law enforcement colleagues have always been essential to our fight against illegal immigration,” said Paul Kilcoyne, ICE deputy director for investigations.
“ICE and the Alabama state troopers are building on an existing strong foundation by agreeing to train and certify law enforcement officers to carry out certain duties that are traditionally handled by federal immigration officers.”
Alabama Governor Bob Riley said the training and authorization allow the troopers, during the course of their regular duties, to question, detain and arrest individuals who are in this country illegally.
“Alabamians are proud that our state is at the forefront of a growing national effort to combat illegal immigration,” said Riley.
“This innovative and cooperative effort allows our state troopers to become force multipliers for America's border security mission. We always welcome those who enter our country legally, but we won't stand idly by and do nothing when we catch illegal aliens, some who have committed crimes like armed robbery, rape and drug smuggling, in our state.”
Joining Riley in praising the graduating officers, in addition to Kilcoyne, were Alabama US Rep. Mike Rogers; Michael A. Holt, special agent in charge, ICE, New Orleans; and James M. Wright, ICE section 287(g) program manager.
Rogers praised the troopers and expressed his appreciation to ICE and the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) for providing the training.
“This program is a win-win for the citizens of Alabama and for federal immigration officials,” said the congressman.
“The training our troopers received will help get criminal aliens and immigration violators who pose a threat to our national security and public safety off our streets. I applaud these troopers and the Alabama Department of Public Safety for participating in this important program,” he added.
The 16 troopers completed a five-week course at the CDP that mirrors the training ICE agents receive. The course focuses exclusively on immigration and nationality law and issues related to its enforcement, including cultural sensitivity and civil rights instruction.
Under the terms of the Alabama MOU, troopers do not conduct immigration-related enforcement actions at businesses and workplaces. They are authorized to enforce federal immigration law only as necessary in the course of their normal duties as state troopers, such as enforcing traffic law, responding to motor vehicle crashes and issuing driver licenses.
Since the first Alabama troopers completed ICE training in 2003, troopers have made 218 arrests of illegal aliens. Many of those arrested also had previous criminal convictions, including armed robbery, rape and drug smuggling. Others also were charged with crimes such as illegal possession of firearms and Social Security fraud.
The first class of 21 Alabama state troopers completed ICE training in October 2003 and a second class of 23 graduated in November 2005, with the third class completing the training program in 2006. All three classes were trained at the Center for Domestic Preparedness, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security training facility in Anniston, AL.
“We're honored to have had the opportunity to once again open our doors to Alabama's responders and to ICE, a sister DHS agency, for this very important training,” said CDP Director Marion Cain.
Since 1998, the center has trained emergency responders at the federal, state and local levels, delivering high-quality, cutting-edge preparedness training. The CDP specializes in advanced, hands-on training aimed at preventing, responding to and recovering from terrorist acts, particularly those involving hazardous materials and weapons of mass destruction.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.