On “pat downs” and security. It’s a little more involved.   Leave a comment

The Washington  Post yesterday noted a story about the “growing backlash” against new TSA procedures that now involve “pat down” searches and full body scanning machines that are now in place at many airports.  This is obviously done in the name of security and attempts to make air travel in the United States as safe as possible.  Whether or not the procedures work or not are of a different discussion but a few more areas of concern I believe are necessary for discussion.  As someone who has performed hundreds and probably over a thousand “searches” before in my career although not in an airport setting I offer my thoughts.

The terror attacks of September 11th, obviously brought to light many flaws of our security and intelligence community and served as a major victory in Al Quida’s battle in their war against the United States and the remainder of the world.  Since then major security initiatives were taken in order to prevent further attacks and those efforts should be commended.  I firmly believe that security and public safety is an issue that must be done with the fullest efforts of the government that is responsible for handling it as well as those involved in it like the employees.  Politicians must also have their priorities in line when identifying the most qualified people to be in leadership positions of these areas in the name of security and not politician pandering against whether or not someone supports unionization or not.  While that is another issue to discuss, it reiterates why our security arena against terrorism still needs a great deal of work beyond “pat down” searches and body scanners.

I have always held in high regard the security practices of El Al Airlines and have taken significant criticism for it.  However, if you look at it from a purely security and safety standpoint no one can argue that it is effective.  I have never flown on El Al but with many people writing consistently about their practices one key area of difference is obviously: Training of security personnel.  Obviously, Israel requires mandatory military service for those capable and that is a significant advantage to those who then go on and work with El Al Security.  In addition to this it appears that many of their security personnel are trained in questioning passengers about their travels and inconsistencies in their stories and whether or not their answered warrant further scrutiny.  There are other practices involved in their procedures but the most striking to me is that for their terminals in the United States they do not utilize the TSA.  Is it due to their own paranoia or a lack of trust with American security standards.  I believe it is both.

The level of training required of TSA employees should be rigorous and held to the same standard as professional public safety organizations to include thorough background checks, interviews, tests and psychological and medical exams.  TSA procedures should be held on the same level as public safety and they should be viewed in the same community.  As of now they are not and that is wrong.  In addition to hiring the most qualified people we should also require the best training to keep up with evolving tactics or terrorists and criminals who use airlines to further their agenda (criminal or terror) but also ensure they are compensated properly along with proper benefits.  People need to ensure they can provide the best lives for themselves and their loved ones who rely on their financial support.   But most importantly they need to view their job as a way of life and not simply as a paycheck.  I know that a majority of those who work in the TSA as screeners and other security positions take their job seriously, it only takes one lazy or inattentive worker to fail at their duties to result in another tragedy.

As for pat down searches and full body scans I’ll move more towards the security aspect of the discussion.  Weapons on a plane that does not have armed air marshalls can have disastrous consequences.  As any law enforcement professional and they could tell you about weapons, knives and other contraband being found in “private” or “sensitive” areas of criminals that would not be found in a normal “pat search” that does not encompass the entire body.  I can speak from experience that criminals know it is uncomfortable for those conducting the search to check those areas of another person’s body.  That feeling of being uncomfortable can be viewed as a weakness which can be exploited and that is where these searches come into play.  Firearms and sharpened weapons can easily be made out of non-metallic material that can not be picked up via metal detector and since full body scanned are not mandatory a “pat down” search is all that remains.  There is no way around the fact that a properly performed pat down search done in accordance with proper training protocols will result in that weapon being found.  But in the end this is really not the overall moral of airport security.

Travel is all about getting from one place to another as soon as possible and with as little hassle as possible.  Security should not be about cutting down on hassles for travelers or short-changing protocols or procedures in order to make a traveler happy.  In addition, security should not be able cutting costs or getting the job done at the lowest possible cost for the public to where training, pay and compensation are sacrificed in order to save money.  Employees should be paid and given benefits to ensure we are getting the most qualified personnel out there and qualification with specific backgrounds in security, terrorism, psychology and military should be of highest preference.  Until all these areas are covered and treated and held to the same standards as our public safety community it does not matter how many “pat downs” or body scans are done we will still be living in a day of smoke and mirrors called security.

Posted November 14, 2010 by danielkalb in Uncategorized

Why Cindy McCain cannot have it both ways with NOH8 and DADT   Leave a comment

This week I posted up here and at Blue Virginia (Which Lowell front page promoted) discussing the soon to be released report concerning the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the “minimal risk” the military will face if and when it is repealed.  I wanted to follow up on that post with a discussion about the NOH8 campaign and Cindy McCain’s involvement in it along with her daughter and John McCain proudly serving as the road block to ensure our government furthers discrimination and weakens national security.  I’ll preface by saying that I cannot even imagine the position she in with her husband who is doing everything in his power to keep Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in place while she is supposedly advocating for its repeal but sometimes questions and reflections are warranted.

Recently Cindy McCain did a public service announcement for the NOH8 campaign (I’ll add that I wish I was famous enough to be in one of those PSA’s but oh well) and citing the Huffington Post she noted:

On November 10, Cindy McCain appeared in an ad for the NOH8 campaign, an organization formed as a response to California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state. In the video, McCain says that “our political and religious leaders tell LGBT youth that they have no future.” Later, she adds that “they can’t serve our country openly.”

On Friday, however, Cindy McCain clarified her stance, tweeting that she supports her husband’s position on DADT. “I fully support the NOH8 campaign and all it stands for and am proud to be a part of it. But I stand by my husband’s stance on DADT.”

I feel Cindy McCain should be commended for taking part in the HOH8 campaign especially being married to someone serving as a roadblock to equality but I have significant issues with her tweet to supposedly clarify her stance and involvement with how it relates to DADT.  Family member’s must stand by their loved ones in difficult times and I can respect that but unfortunately there are times when you simply cannot have it both ways.  You cannot say you support “all” that the NOH8 Campaign stands for but then stand by your husband in his consistent and steadfast efforts to fight the repeal of DADT.  As far as I know she is yet to clarify what she meant by “stand by” Tweet based on her Twitter comment.  We all say crazy things on Twitter without thinking, I certainly do and eventually clarify or apologize for offending but eventually I believe she will need to clarify what she means to “stand by” John McCain’s efforts to discriminate against gay and lesbian service members or those in the GLBT community who wish to serve openly.

Sadly DADT is something that is completely contradictory to the notion that “It get’s better” or as Cindy McCain put on her Twitter feed #itsgetsbetter because it goes to show that it does not get better for GLBT citizens of our country.  It cannot get better if a young teenager wants to serve in our military either as a duty, to better themselves, learn a trade, money for college, follow in a family member’s footsteps or any other reason if they cannot live the same life as their fellow straight service members.  How does it get better if you come from a community where you do not have to hide who you are and love and then be forced to live a life of hiding and openly loving someone?

No matter what the Pentagon study reveals the opposition will continue under the cover of “combat readiness” or any other bogus argument even though deep down it is homophobia.  The study could reveal that there is NO RISK with 100% service member support for repeal and politicians like John McCain and others on the right will still oppose it due to deep held personal beliefs against homosexuality.  (I equate it to initial opposition to the Civil Rights Act under the guise of federalism even though it was deeply held racist beliefs)  There is no way around it.  The NOH8 campaign is working tirelessly to end discrimination, bullying and violence against our GLBT community and they cannot afford the distractions Cindy McCain’s “standing by” her husband’s position can cause.  Equality and discrimination is too important of and issue and clear cut to where one cannot have it both ways.  Discrimination and inequality is one area of politics and our life that people cannot have it both ways.

Posted November 13, 2010 by danielkalb in Uncategorized

Pentagon Report Will Reveal What Most Already Know   Leave a comment

In the Washington Post today I read an article noting that sources close to the Pentagon groups studying the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will show in their report that lifting the discriminatory ban will be “minimal risk” to lifting the ban on gay and lesbians serving openly in the military.  Once the official report is released to the general public it will reveal what anyone with any ounce of common sense will have already known: There really is no risk to lifting the ban.  It is important to note that the risk will be “minimal” from what the source disclosed to the Washington Post, but with any change in the military there is always some risk but the question is whether or not it is significant enough to scrap an entire plan where the positive effects significantly outweigh the negatives.

As someone who served in the Marine Corps I am always from the position of maintaining a strong fighting force to handle any conflict that arises around the world that could threaten American interests.  Without question there are people in our country who wish to serve in the United States but for whatever disqualifying reason they cannot.  DADT has been the one policy that has significantly weakened out military fighting force through discharges, disciplinary action but more importantly furthering a homophobic mindset in the military.  The whole idea that if someone doesn’t say they are gay then everything is good and there are no homosexuals in the military.  While I was in the Marine Corps I served with gay and lesbian Marines and everyone who has served in the military has, no matter how much people want to be argue otherwise.  The main issue of this whole policy and the debate that will occur by those on both sides of the debate will not really center around whether this will weaken out military force but rather further the homophobic ideology and agenda pushed by many in the military and political camps.

I have always had a way to offending some people when I write about issues I truly believe in, although never intentionally until now.  Any policy that weakens our military fighting force is the time of two wars and openly discriminates against those who are willing to fight and die for our country is something every American should be turning in anger about.  Anyone who supports a policy that weakens our fighting force due to personal, discriminatory and homophobic beliefs can be offended all they want and I will never apologize to them.  Our national security is too important for that and a society that treats all people, to include our gay and lesbian service members who put their lives on the line for our  equally is also too important.

I’ve attempted to look at the “other side” of this issue and for all the “typical” opposition to lifting the ban I am still forced to come end up back at the starting point I personally believe is the real issue:  People are afraid of homosexuals and for whatever reason are repulsed by them.  Unfortunately, I cannot totally blame the bigots and homophobes in our society who are private citizens as they look to our leaders and politicians for guidance.  When people in our society see politicians advocate and proudly stand by discriminatory policies and hide their underlying homophobic and discriminatory beliefs under the cover of public interest, national security, fighting terrorism there are many people out there who will wrongly believe and follow them.  We really need to ask those tough questions of politicians who will oppose this no matter what the findings will show and force them to answer the yes or no question: Are you homophobic?

Many politicians and leaders during the Civil Rights Era opposed the legislation during it’s inception under the cover of federalism arguments but many used that argument to hide their true racist and discriminatory beliefs.  There were very few who would openly come out and say that African Americans should be discriminated against and needed some “legitimate” protection from opponents.  Sadly, the same thing can be applied with DADT.  More importantly, our leaders and politicians are pushing a belief that will reiterate to many service members that homophobia and anti-gay beliefs and actions are acceptable in our society and military.

Sadly, our leaders have little time to stand up and do the right thing.  The lame duck session will be the last chance for a very long time that we have to end a policy that proudly weakens our military fighting force.  Those “blue dog” Democrats who will no longer hold office have a chance to redeemed many of their wrong votes and positions against the correct Democratic agenda by standing up and showing our military that our country supports all citizens equally, especially those willing to fight and die for their country.  If people get offended by Democrats and even common sense republicans like the in the Log Cabin Republicans for pushing an unwanted agenda then too bad: We need to do what is right.  History will judge those politicians like John McCain and many others in the Republican Party (And some Democrats) who are purposely weakening our military fighting force for no real apparent reason other than their true homophobic beliefs.

Will the Democratic majority that remainders for another month during the lame duck session have the intestinal fortitude to do what is right in our national security interests and furthering our society that should be should be one of full equality for all?  We can only hope………

Posted November 11, 2010 by danielkalb in Uncategorized

a la carte Government–My thoughts on the issue as a public servant   Leave a comment

A few days ago I along with many others throughout the country watched on the news as a fire engulfed a Tennessee home and eventually left nothing but ashes.  For the most part that would not even makes major media outlets in the state let alone national new media but this was strikingly different from a regular fire:  the fire department was on scene and allowing the home to burn to the ground.  There was nothing left after the fire to include lives of the family’s pets.  I’m going to give my thoughts as a public servant, like those firefighters are without focusing on the issue of whether a fee was paid or not, intentionally or unintentionally.  That’s not the issue.  Although I am from the law enforcement community I still fall under public safety and the same principles can be applied and here is why…..

The government’s most important duty is to protect it’s citizens and the property of those citizens so they can live their lives free from violence, danger and anything else that could threaten them.  Government has the ability to ensure that those entrusted to protect it’s citizens are equipped with the best training, equipment and people for the task.  Being entrusted to carry a weapon, detain people and take their liberty (lawfully) and in some cases end their lives is not something every person can or would want to do.  There are standards set by laws and policies that ensure the government is doing it’s job effectively and not becoming part of the problem it is trying to defend against.  Law enforcement responds and serves their respective communities through the power vested in them to the best of the ability as part of their fiduciary responsibility the government expects and most importantly requires.  Law enforcement is paid by the government who in turn receives a portion of their funding through taxes the law requires citizens to pay.  Everyone pays taxes in accordance with applicable law based on their income level and so forth.  It’s the way our government has functions since it’s inception and I’m a firm believer of the old saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

As I watched the video of the firefighters, my brothers and sisters in public safety sit idly by and watch a house they are ethically required to attend to I put it into the perspective from a law enforcement standpoint and what would happen if it were police officers, or sheriff’s deputies standing around while a crime was being committed.  I did that and felt a sickness develop in my stomach.  As someone who took a job in government that requires me to keep people safe I couldn’t imagine any situation in which I would be present and openly watch a person being victimized by crime if I was in uniform and had the ability and tools necessary to do something.  I couldn’t imagine watching a woman or child being sexually assaults or robbed crying for my help and offering to do anything to help from being victimized.  I can’t shave with my eyes closed which means I have to look in the mirror every day and accept the decisions I’ve made.

This a la carte style of public safety would be particularly even worse involving law enforcement.  Could you imagine if not every student in Virginia Tech did not pay their “protection fee” during the tragic massacre that occurred?  Let’s get beyond the fact that implementing such a policy would be nearly impossible but who ethically flawed and just flat out wrong on a human level.  While the private citizen does not have the requirement of law to protect the government and it’s agents – public safety – does.  I remember Virginia Tech massacre again seeing student running away from those horrific sounds of gunfire while my brothers and sisters from Virginia Tech and Blacksburg Police ran towards the gun fire in order to neutralize the threat.  What if Virginia Tech administrators did not pay their university’s “protection fee” and therefore would not have the protection our society expects for the government.  Imagine, if politicians like this Tennessee mayor had their way and implemented the a la carte style of protection and the lower income communities which already experience higher crime rates in general could not afford these “protection fees”?  How many more people would be victims of violent crime with the criminal offenders knowing they would have free reign on these communities that could not pay their “protection fee.”

I was pleased to see my brothers and sisters at the International Association of Fire Fighters International address this issue in the correct way.  Hopefully it will begin the healing process that needs to occur throughout the United States after millions of people who expect fire protection from their government saw such an epic failure of moral and ethical responsibility.  As a public servant I can assure you that I will do everything in my being as a citizen of our society to ensure that the video we saw and the politician who allowed it will never allow this to go beyond what we say that day.

Posted October 7, 2010 by danielkalb in Uncategorized

Deportations of illegal immigrants reaches record: From WaPo- My thoughts   Leave a comment

The Washington Post just wrote a short piece noting the deportation of illegal immigrants under the Obama administration has reached a record number this year. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/06/AR2010100603301.html?hpid=topnews)  While many on the right still complain that not enough is being done to combat illegal immigration this number still won’t do anything to please them because they turn a blind eye to the most important aspect of this record:  Criminal illegal aliens.

As a law enforcement professional I lean more towards the enforcement side of things regarding immigration but have always noted that enforcement must go after criminal illegal aliens.  I define criminal illegal aliens as those who come into contact with law enforcement around the country while in the commission of another criminal violation at the state or local level (Murder, gang participation, sexual assault, drunk driving, robbery, etc).  The article noted that 392,000 illegal immigrants were removed from the country and nearly half of them, 195,000 had criminal convictions to include such offenses as murder, sexual assault and drunk driving.  While the article did not distinguish the other half who were removed and the basis for their deportation the overall fact that more criminal illegal aliens were removed should be applauded by critics of the Obama administration’s new policy in dealing with illegal immigration and using Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a “crime-fighting tool.”

People need to realize that until the system is overhauled in finding a proper balance between smart enforcement and pathways to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants in this country ICE and the Department of Homeland Security needs to prioritize who they are going to go after as the serious threats to public safety.  While both sides agree on very little, one issue I see them agreeing on is that criminal illegal aliens deserve no sympathy from anyone and should be deported.  If ICE is spending their time on illegal aliens with no criminal records one has to assume that is a time and resource lost on a violent criminal alien who should be detained and removed for everyone’s safety.  Luckily for everyone the Obama administration recognizes this and has prioritized enforcement efforts the way they should be: Smart, efficient and effective!

Posted October 6, 2010 by danielkalb in Uncategorized

Why a strict “Arizona style law in Virginia” would not have prevented the tragedy in Prince William County   Leave a comment

In the course of 48 hours the immigration debate in Virginia has become even more intense following the tragic death of a nun and two passengers after being his by an illegal immigrant who was allegedly driving drunk and with a revoked license due to two previous DWI convictions.  This case is further aggravated by the fact the the illegal alien was released from ICE custody while his deportation case proceeds through the system.  As someone who advocates a strong enforcement approach to combating illegal immigration and believes that Virginia should serve as a model for all other states and localities who want to combat illegal immigration I know that this case is not as easy as those on the right are making it out to be.  I write this article after I saw in the Washington Post this afternoon that Del. Bob Marshall wants Governor Bob McDonnell to issue an executive order that is in line with Attorney General Cuccinelli’s recent opinion regarding police inquiring about immigration statuses.  As someone who supports strong enforcement I can tell you that an Arizona style law would not have prevented the tragedy that occurred in Prince William County.  To preface, I will only be going to reported new articles published thus far.

I have repeatedly argued that in order to combat illegal immigration there must be a working partnership between state and local law enforcement and ICE authorities.  Virginia participated in the Secure Communities Program which identifies illegal immigrants taken into custody and it is up to ICE officials to determine if they will initiate deportation proceedings and place a detainer on the alien to take them into custody after they are released from state/local custody.  From all accounts, this happened perfectly in this case.  As Corey Stewart notes himself:

“The despicable thing is that this criminal was … handed over to ICE twice, and released by ICE twice. He’s gone out an killed a nun. That’s a perfect example of what’s wrong with immigration enforcement in this country.”

The joint partnership between Prince William County and ICE worked exactly the way it should have.  He was arrested for a criminal offense (Drunk Driving), identified as an illegal alien and placed in removal proceedings.  He was then turned over to ICE following his sentence which is how it works since he had a detainer placed on him.  After he is taken into custody by ICE officials it is no longer the responsibility of local officials to deal with their case as the overall task of deporting illegal aliens falls onto the shoulders of the federal government.  Once they are turned over to ICE officials their case is reviewed to determine if they should be released on some sort of recognizance pending their future hearings.  For as much as this bothers people it is not much different than our currently criminal justice system where defendants have a right to bond if they are eligible.  ICE does not have the ability to hold every illegal alien they come into contact with in custody for however long their deportation process occurs which can be several months.  Those bed spaces are usually reserved for those aliens who are deemed a flight risk, previously deported felons and others who have had previous contact with ICE officials such as voluntary returns and those who refused a judge’s order to self deport.  In this case it is safe to assume that Montano (the alien charged) was not deemed a flight risk or threat and therefore eligible for release pending his future hearings.  We do not know officially what factors ICE used in releasing him from custody but for sake of this discussion we’ll believe that this was the case.

Since this aspect of the case is now hopefully better understood this should be a clear indicator that if Virgina had in place an “Arizona style” immigration law that it would not have prevented the tragedy that occurred in Prince William County.  We can apply this reasoning to the present case.  Montano would have been stopped and arrested for drunk driving and eventually turned over to immigration authorities which is exactly what happened in this case and more than likely released on bond pending his future hearings.  None of this would have changed if Virginia had a law that identically mirrors that of Arizona prior to the injunction.  Arresting and identifying illegal aliens is not as complicated as everyone makes it out to be just like determining if someone is a criminal or has committed a criminal offense.  It involves investigating, something local law enforcement is very good at.  Remember, they are on the front lines protecting our community from the wolves of our society.  Bob Marshall wanting Governor McDonnell to implement an executive order following Cuccinelli’s opinion will do nothing more than Virginia already does in combating illegal immigration.  Many local officers and deputies know who is an illegal alien but unless ICE is willing to act on that and issue a detainer against the alien or who are actively wanted by ICE through an NCIC warrant then local authorities cannot take them into custody since being an illegal alien is not a state offense in Virginia.  Local jails hold illegal aliens through detainers ICE place on them after their local sentences are served.  They are not held on state charges of be in the country illegally.

Any basic research via the internet about the Secure Communities Program will provide anyone with an excellent understanding of how the program works and why it is probably the most effective program state and local officials can implement to assist ICE in combating illegal immigration.  While the extreme position of groups who oppose this program it is hard to argue when illegal immigrants are identified through fingerprints.  Prints don’t lie.  Even immigration lawyers agree that this program that Virginia participates in 100% will deport more illegal aliens than any law Arizona or any other state writes.  Since there are nearly 13 million illegal immigrants in this country ICE must prioritize who they go after and put into removal proceedings and I think even the most hard line, enforcement only advocate will agree that going after deported felons and violent criminal aliens should take a higher priority than the local drunk who is repeated arrested for nothing more than being intoxicated in public.

In the coming days we will hopefully have a better understanding as to why Montano was released from ICE custody pending his deportation hearings but in all actually it will show that ICE detention facilities are under funded and lacking the bed space to hold every illegal alien taken into federal custody.  Unfortunately, in this case it appears that the joint partnership between Prince William County and ICE worked perfectly in identifying and placing him into deportation proceedings.  Instead of local politicians advocating for stricter laws at the state levels they should be pushing their federal representatives to to hire more judges and officials to reduce the overloaded system that has appeared to stymied Montano’s deportation hearings.  There is no doubt that Montano would have been deportation given his criminal history if the hearing had occurred earlier and I doubt anyone can advocate he should be allowed to remain in the country even prior to this tragedy.

Sadly, this is a tragedy that could not have been prevented given the current system of the federal immigration system.  This is in no way a failure of local law enforcement officials and ICE who work with local authorities in identifying and placing illegal aliens into removal proceedings as that segment of the process appears to have worked perfectly.  The failure falls in the backlogged and underfunded immigration system we currently have in our country.  There is no need to fix something in Virginia that is effectively working every day local law enforcement goes into work.  They need to continue to do what they are doing and hope that those at the federal level can step up and provide those on the front lines with the support they desperately need.

Posted August 4, 2010 by danielkalb in Uncategorized

How Virginia can be a real “amicus” to Arizona!   Leave a comment

Since the major components of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law was blocked while hearing proceed Arizona is still left with how to deal with the issue of illegal immigration.  Many states, including Virginia and our Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed an amicus brief in support of Arizona’s efforts to combat illegal immigration.  Since amicus is a legal definition for “friend” I decided to go into how Virginia can be a real friend to Arizona and show them how a state can successfully work in conjunction with ICE in combating illegal immigration.  Again, I’m going to preface this with saying that I am not going to talk to the extreme elements on both sides of this debate (The “deport them all” crowd and those demanding there should be “no deportations” at all even for criminals crowd) but rather the majority of Americans who believe that immigration reform requires there to be a balance between enforcement of current laws and reform a system that encourages illegal immigrants to follow our laws already in place.

Currently in Virginia every single jurisdiction is linked to the ICE’s Secure Communities Program  and this is something that should be considered a blue print for other state currently debating how to deal with illegal immigration.  Basically, this program runs anyone who is arrested through an immigration database based on fingerprint information.  The old saying “fingerprints don’t lie” is exactly why this program is successful in many jurisdictions through the United States and Virginia.  Arizona currently has 53% participating in the program which is very admirable but until they have 100% participation I argue it is hard for the state to say they have done everything possible to work in conjunction with ICE in combating illegal immigration.  Why hasn’t Governor Brewer or even the author of this law written a bill requiring all jurisdictions to participate in this program?  Virginia’s leaders could have gone to Arizona and shown how successful Virginia has been since implementing the Secure Communities Program in identifying and placing illegal aliens into deportation proceedings.

Criminal aliens have been successfully deported from this country after their criminal proceedings are completed.  When ICE authorities determine the status of an illegal alien and the crime they’ll notify the jurisdiction that is holding the illegal that they wish to place a detainer on them which is the beginning of the removal process.  In addition to going after criminal aliens ICE is able to use this program to identify previously deported aliens and those who have overstayed their visas.  Many of the immigration advocates who oppose this program really fail in their efforts because as I before this is based on finger print identification as well as interviews with the alien.  The fact that this program works with finger print identification the anti-enforcement advocate really lose credibility when they claim that people can be “mixed up” and having a legal immigrant deported.  That’s not the case and it’s a shame they make that argument.  This program goes after immigrants who have committed crimes and who otherwise would not be in contact with ICE authorities had it not been for their committing crimes in the jurisdiction that arrests them.

In addition to the criticism that advocate throw at these joint efforts between ICE and localities, Secure Communities prevents much of that because it is the local detention centers and  jails which do this and in many jurisdictions in Virginia they are separate entities.  For example, in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax their police departments are responsible for the main “policing” duties on the street while the Sheriff’s Offices run and maintain the jails.  The “community relations” between immigrants, both legal and illegal will still be intact and maintained while those who commit crimes like gang members, and other violent criminals who are illegally in the country will be targeted when they break the law.  Again, I think that those who oppose Arizona’s law will agree that illegal aliens who commit violent crimes should be deported and should not be allowed to stay in the country.

In the end, I argue that states and localities that want to combat illegal immigration should look to all possible avenues to work in conjunction with ICE through a strong partnership like Virginia does with the Secure Communities Program. This can really be asked of jurisdictions who attempt to write their own immigration laws but haven’t joined Secure Communities or even 287 g.  The federal government and ICE has been dealing with immigration for years and local law enforcement are the boots on the ground in protecting their communities.  With this in mind, the two can work in conjunction with one another in keeping their communities safe from criminal illegal aliens.

Posted July 29, 2010 by danielkalb in Uncategorized

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