Sheriffs from all over the United States attended a border summit in McAllen, Texas. Pro-illegal immigration groups like the Center for New Community (CNC) are criticizing sheriffs in the U.S. for attending this and other summits. CNC is keeping track of these seminars by flagging these meetings on a map on their website. The two-day summit was put on by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Sheriff Aj (Andy) Louderback of Jackson County, Texas, received a call from a member of the Center for New Community asking him if he was going to attend the border summit.
Sheriff Louderback told Breitbart Texas that he was not used to strangers calling him about his whereabouts but added, “The Sheriffs in America have to deal with crime in their states, including crime by illegal aliens. We have added problems because of the federal government’s stance on criminal illegal aliens, most notably, it’s Priority Enforcement Program (PEP).” Louderback is the immediate past president of the Sheriff’s Association of Texas.
As reported by Breitbart Texas in early October, border state sheriffs had a strong reaction to a report that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was set to engage in the largest one-time release of federal prisoners. Six thousand inmates are receiving early release. Two thousand of those released are “foreign citizens” who officials claim “will be quickly deported.” As reported by Breitbart News, the first release occurred this weekend. The sheriffs met in McAllen on October 30th and 31st.
After hearing of the early release of these prisoners, Louderback told Breitbart Texas at the time, “Law enforcement should always be concerned when this number of criminals will be released.” He added, “I am also concerned that although the federal government claims they will be deported, as many as 2,000 illegal aliens could be released into our communities.”
Moreover, as reported by Breitbart Texas in August, Louderback and other Texas sheriffs met at the Texas state capitol to decry the federal government’s creation of a sanctuary state for criminal aliens through its Priority Enforcement Program.
Louderback told Breitbart Texas on Sunday, “Texas sheriffs are not for enabling criminality.”
PEP is a federal program which law enforcement officials say endangers communities, rather than secures them, from illegal immigrant crime. The program has replaced a congressionally-mandated program that governed how U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials dealt with criminal aliens. This program replaced the Secured Communities Program. The more aggressive 287(g) program has also been eliminated.
The PEP policy was released by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in November of 2014. In January, the program went into effect and Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby exclusively reported leaked training documents detailing how the program would be implemented. Darby dubbed the program, “Catch and Release 2.0.”
Law enforcement officials say that the PEP program takes a select class of criminal aliens who are no longer being picked up by ICE even though they are in this country illegally. They say Texas sheriffs are forced to let these illegal aliens out of county jails and into communities. Illegal aliens are able to stay in the country under 14 categories in the ‘unless’ deportation exceptions within the PEP program.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, these exceptions allow criminal aliens to stay in the states where:
- The criminal conviction occurred a long time ago;
- There are “extenuating circumstances” involving the offense;
- There are “Humanitarian issues” such as age, health, pregnancy, having a young child or seriously sick relative in the states, or they have community ties; or
- The person has family members living here.
Arizona Sheriff Leon Wilmot, from Yuma County said in early October, “They have already proven that their PEP program does not work because they have already had two convicted murderers in our state. Jeh Johnson said that the whole purpose was to keep the worst of the worst off the streets. One of the murderers murdered their own child. The PEP program is worthless.”
Sheriffs in the U.S. met in McAllen this past weekend they say in order to keep abreast of immigration and criminal law issues and to address problems caused by illegal immigration and criminal aliens.
Sheriff Louderback spoke to the sheriffs about the PEP program, and Dave Wilcox, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, spoke about legal issues dealing with immigration. Professor Jeffrey F. Addicott also gave a terrorism law report. Addicott is a Distinguished Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, Texas. There were presentations by about a half-dozen more as well.
The Center for New Community (CNC) is accusing the sheriffs who attended this meeting (and like meetings) of being “part and parcel of a much broader trend of sheriffs working closely with FAIR to advance a decidedly anti-immigrant agenda.” They ask that residents of local communities tell their sheriffs to stop their association with the group.
CNC says they “partner with organizations in over twenty states to … advance a shared commitment to democratic community.”
According to its website, FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) “is a national, nonprofit, public-interest, membership organization of concerned citizens who share a common belief that our nation’s immigration policies must be reformed to serve the national interest.” The say they seek “to improve border security, to stop illegal immigration, and to promote immigration levels consistent with the national interest—more traditional rates of about 300,000 a year.” FAIR has more than 250,000 members and supporters nationwide and is a non-partisan group.
The “Daily Words” section on CNC’s website on November 1st included this quote – “We are witnessing the creation of a vulnerable citizenry: undocumented citizens.”
The cited reference for the CNC quote – a Rolling Stone magazine article on birthright citizenship.
The article criticizes the opposition to a lawsuit by illegal immigrant parents from Mexico and Central America claiming entitlement to birth certificates for their children born in the United States. The parents want to use identification they get from the consulate called “matricula consular” or “matriculas” to obtain birth certificates. Breitbart Texas has been covering the lawsuit.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and an associate judge. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2