ICE, DCSO chilling illegal alien crime

Thanks to a new agreement between DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), law enforcement in De-Witt County will not have to wait for Border Patrol agents to deal with illegal aliens accused of committing a crime locally.

ICE will be training DeWitt County jailers to be ICE agents in the DCSO jail.

“It is an effort to streamline and take action against illegal aliens that have committed or accused of committing crimes in the United States,” said Sheriff Carl Bowen.

“Realistically this is something we’ve been doing all along,” said Sheriff Bowen. “We catch an illegal alien or a person accused of crime and one of the first things we do is contact the Border Patrol.

The Border Patrol will send an agent up and interview them. They find out that the person is an illegal and they do the whole retainer process and they come get him.”

“This is almost the same process with the exception of we are doing it right here. We don’t have to wait for a person to come up here and interview them. It’s entered directly into the database right here.”

Jail Administrator Capt. Patrick Charleton explained ICE will be installing the software and program and providing the training for the jailers to act as ICE representatives inside the jail cells.

They are installing a computer database that links directly with ICE at no charge to county taxpayers, he said.

Charleton will soon travel to Charleston, SC for four week’s training in the ICE academy.

Bowen said the illegal aliens most people hear about are the ones that take law enforcement on wild chases on back roads, run through a fence and bail out.

“The ones you don’t hear about are the ones that get arrested for fighting, stabbing, burglary and end up in our jail. Once they’re in our jails, they are still being referred to ICE but what this is doing is streamlining the entire process,” he said.

“It gives us access to more information. These people are coming to jail regardless of whether they are illegal or not. The officer on the street has no idea what this program entails. So it’s not a stop and ID law that everyone is worried about.”

“When they come to jail, it gives us additional information, not only to process these people but to better understand how to handle them while they are here.”

“It a positive action to take these people who committed crimes or who are accused of committing crimes in the United States and removes them from our society back to their point of origin,” Bowen said.

Charleton said once the person has been identified as an illegal alien, the sheriff ’s office then has options of getting that person to authorities that will complete the process.

Jackson County Sheriff ’s Office was the first of area counties to participate in this program. Several others are now in the process of joining the effort.

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