Regarding the article “County finalizes $1.7M deal with ICE” (The Capital, Oct. 12):
More information is needed to adequately cover the effect and potential problems of the 287(g) agreement entered into between County Executive Steve Schuh, representing the county, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Sept. 20. Many of us believe this is not beneficial for Anne Arundel County.
It is unclear why Terry Kokolis, county superintendent of the Department of Safety and Corrections, stated that the Ordnance Road Correctional Center doesn’t need more staff for the housing of up to 130 additional detainees. This cost certainly would fall to the county taxpayers.
A February 20109 study by the Brookings Institute found that Prince William County, Virginia had to raise property taxes and take money from its rainy day fund to implement its 287(g) program. The report found the program cost $6.4 million in its first year and would cost $26 million over the next five years. Perhaps this explains why only 42 of 3,142 jurisdictions in the country, just 0.013 percent, have initiated this program.
Mr. Schuh insists the program is designed to deport only criminals, but your article states that the ICE detainees are not considered criminal offenders. In fact, most of the undocumented inmates are screened for immigration violations before they have been convicted of a crime. It is equally disturbing that county spokesman Owen McEvoy equates these individuals with gang violence.
It is my opinion that 287(g) leads to increased racial profiling and less cooperation within our immigrant communities to report crime due to fear of questioning or possible detention.
The 287(g) program can be terminated by Mr. Schuh at any time and I believe the time is now.