Feds and North Carolina Sheriffs Work Together to Capture Criminal Aliens
by Jim Kouri, CPP
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) representatives today presented a proposed statewide partnership plan to the sheriffs in attendance at the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association's (NCSA) fall meeting. This is the first in many conversations between federal and local officers aimed at affording every area of North Carolina increased use of the unique authorities of ICE.
Many sheriffs' departments in North Carolina have shown significant interest in partnering with ICE primarily to help identify and remove criminal illegal aliens. To date nearly 20 agencies have requested a partnership with ICE under the 287(g) program -- which trains and certifies officers to enforce immigration law.
"North Carolina sheriff's offices have demonstrated an unprecedented interest in partnering with ICE," noted Julie L. Myers, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE. "By working together in a coordinated manner, we plan to develop a statewide alliance that is both effective and sustainable and will enhance public safety in the state."
Driven by a steering committee comprised of local and federal officers, partnering agencies will develop appropriate timelines and agree on how to best leverage the tools ICE has available under the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) program. Depending on the specific needs, North Carolina sheriffs' departments would participate in ICE ACCESS programs and services including: the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) which helps identify criminal aliens; ICE's Criminal Alien Program (CAP) which locates criminal aliens processed through jails and prisons; Operation Community Shield which targets and arrests gang members; joint document and benefit fraud task forces to impede identity theft; and the delegation of 287(g) authority.v
Mecklenburg, Alamance, Gaston and Cabarrus county sheriff's offices have already partnered with ICE by entering into 287(g) Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs).
ICE received more 287(g) requests from agencies in North Carolina than any other state. Recognizing this intense interest, Senator Elizabeth Dole brought together the impacted state and federal agencies to discuss ways to best prioritize needs on a statewide basis.
"When it comes to tackling the complex issue of immigration, Washington is often accused of not listening. I want to commend ICE for not only listening, but also delivering for North Carolina. Through this unique partnership with federal officials, North Carolina sheriffs can utilize the available tools to enforce our laws and help ensure that North Carolinians feel safe in their homes and communities."
"We are pleased ICE has recognized the statewide interest to help remove criminal illegal aliens and we look forward to working with the agency to craft a feasible plan benefiting all of our communities," said North Carolina Sheriffs' Association President Sheriff Steve Bizzell.
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.