Sunday, July 20, 2008

ICE ACCESS and 287(g) program

Reading a story in the New York Times about a mother being arrested I came across something interesting. The story focuses on a mother giving birth to her son while under arrest and having been denied access to her son after the birth. She was initially arrested for driving without a license in Nashville,but like I mentioned before, the story focuses on a much bigger issue that affects all undocumented residents here in California and the greater U.S. and that's Immigration Customs Enforcement Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ICE ACCESS). There are 13 different services available under ACCESS and the one used to detain the mother is 287g, which gives law enforcement officials the power to act as immigration officers and detain people they might suspect to be illegal immigrants. The program is suppose to focus on dealing with convicted criminals and deporting them, but that wasn't the case with the pregnant woman. Looking through ICEs web site, I found out that the Los Angeles sheriffs department has the right to detain someone who they think is an illegal immigrants in prisons, for now. This is also in affect in Orange County, San Bernardino and the Riverside sheriffs department. Like special order 40, it will be twisted and per-versed into doing malicious acts that some will deem unfair and unjust. Officers must go through training after meeting qualifications. they are trained and supervised by an ICE officer, who over sees the entire operation to make sure everything is being done by the books. After they complete the training, they implement their judgment when out on the field and in their daily patrol as to whether to detain any person who is suspect, much like a regular crime.
I can understand that it would help remove violent crime offenders, but it can also be abused in urban and remote areas. I never even heard about this program and finding out about it makes me wonder what other programs law enforcement agencies have with ICE to stop and deport immigrants with criminal records. It's obvious that cholos and criminals need to be deported but it's also important that people who don't have criminal records be deported for something as simple as a citation or driving without a license. With so many things happening all the time it's hard to keep up with every law and regulation that could mean deportation for doing something stupid. This is why I chose to keep underground and in the shadows when it comes to being in public and interacting with the rest of the world. Driving a car is to great a risk and I'd rather deal with public transportation that fearing getting pulled over every time I get behind the wheel. I'll stick to riding around the city on my skateboard and riding the public limo for now.