On Tuesday, Chuck Jenkins, the Sheriff of Frederick County, told Congress that that the alliance of his agency with federal immigration authorities is paying off, resulting in undocumented immigrants who are believed to be involved in violent crime and transnational gang activity being taken out of the community.
Jenkins was invited to the first of a series of fact-finding hearings by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Control in order to determine the effectiveness of current federal policies in regards to immigration. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the subcommittee, declared that everyone should be in agreement that the primary function of government should be to protect its people from lawlessness and violence. Jenkins recommended that the model of close cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement used in Frederick County should be taken up by more communities.
Since 2008, some law enforcement officers have been trained by ICE to perform and enforce federal laws relating to immigration, a coordinated effort that has kept his community safe, according to Jenkins. Jenkins says that every community in the United States has seen public safety compromised by the failure to enforce immigration laws and open border policies, but that the program has effectively helped to identify, detain and remove undocumented criminal immigrants.
However, critics claim that broader public safety is actually being put at risk by the program, which they believe tears immigrant families apart and perpetuates racial profiling, as it makes undocumented immigrants reluctant to report crimes to police.