ACLU calls on area sheriffs to back out of immigration program

“We’ve signed the line as they say with the government,” said Captain Bryan Carlisle with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department.

Carlisle says the 287-g contract will mean new technology and training for a few deputies at the government’s expense.

“It’s an enhancement of what we’ve been doing for a very long time,” the captain said.

“It’s draining resources from local enforcement agencies so sheriffs will have a couple of deputies doing ICE agents work at the jail,” said Astrid Dominguez a policy strategist with the ACLU.

In letters from the ACLU, 13 area sheriffs are being told taking part in the federal contract could have a chilling effect.

“People who have been victims of crime don’t come out of the shadows and that’s a concern,” Dominguez says. “That doesn’t make our community safer.”

“We don’t see a big change in the way we are doing business,” Carlisle said.

In fact, the captain says the program will only impact those who end up in jail charged with certain crimes.

“We are looking at people who are engaged in prostitution, people that are engaged in robbery, people who are preying on the very community they’re trying to hide in,” Carlisle said.

“We need to build trust between law enforcement and the community,” said Dominguez.

“We’re not going outside of the jail we’re not going out knocking on doors we’re not checking people during traffic stops what their status is we don’t care,” Carlisle said.

The Captain says it’s just a matter of time that inmates who are here illegally are found out and this program just speeds up the process.