Here’s what the county plans to do to address illegal immigration in Harris County…Do you think it’s a good idea?
Sheriff Tommy Thomas announced today that the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are working together to better address the issue of illegal immigration and its impact upon the citizens of Harris County. To that end, Sheriff Thomas has authorized selected Sheriff’s Office personnel to receive “287(G)” training. Under 287(g), ICE provides state and local law enforcement officers with the training and subsequent authority to identify, process, and when appropriate, detain immigration offenders encountered during regular, law enforcement activity. Sheriff’s Office employees assigned to the Inmate Processing Center were recently asked if they were interested in attending the training, and the response was overwhelming. Many of the employees asked were enthusiastic about the possibility of receiving such training and were eager to attend.
The Sheriff’s Office has been negotiating with ICE Officials over the past few months in an effort to have the training provided locally, possibly at the Sheriff’s Academy, instead of sending employees to Glenco, GA, to attend the four week training. Those talks are ongoing with additional discussions scheduled for the near future. It should also be noted that the training will not be given only to Deputies; Detention Officers assigned to the Inmate Processing Center will be able to attend, as well. The 287(G) training will supplement existing efforts by IPC personnel to identify inmates being booked into the Harris County Jail who are in the United States illegally.