May 14, 2010

It’s a sensitive issue, especially in the aftermath of  the new Arizona immigration law.

287 (g) is a tool used by law enforcement, at the time of arrest or during booking at the jail, to determine who is in this country illegally.

On Monday, Sheriff Garcia will announce that he is creating a 287(g) advisory committee.

(HOUSTON, TX) – Sheriff Adrian Garcia will announce the creation of his 287(g) Advisory Committee during a news conference on Monday, May 17. The event will be held at 2 p.m. on the first floor of the jail at 701 San Jacinto.

Under the 287(g) law, sheriff’s deputies trained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), working side by side with ICE agents in the Harris County Jail, identify inmates who may be undocumented immigrants. These inmates are referred to ICE after their local criminal case is finished.

Members of the advisory committee will help funnel important feedback about the program to the sheriff from the various communities and business fields they represent. The creation of the committee is in accordance with the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the HCSO and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The sheriff’s 287(g) Advisory Committee will be led by Beto Cardenas, Counsel, Vinson & Elkins LLP and co-chaired by Mustafa Tameez, Founder and Managing Director, Outreach Strategists LLC.

Other committee members include:
Wafa Abdin, Legal Director, Cabrini Center for Immigrant Legal Assistance at Catholic Charities
Jackson Chang, Owner, Pan Jackson Company
Cecil Fong, President, Houston 80-20 Asian American PAC
Long Le, PhD, Director of International Initiatives for Global Studies, University of Houston
Mace Meeks, VP/Partner, Dean and Draper Insurance; President of “C” Club of Houston
Jeff Moseley, President and CEO, Greater Houston Partnership
Laura Murillo, President and CEO, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Danny Nguyen, Broker/Owner, DN Commercial
Mosis Willett, Vice President, African Correlation PAC
Chris Wilmot, President and CEO, WCW International Inc.
Ali Zakaria, M Ali Zakaria and Associates
WHO:            Sheriff Adrian Garcia
WHAT:           Creation of the 287(g) Advisory Committee

Immigration Enforcement Plan 287(g) Gets Thumbs Up From Sheriff Garcia
October 26, 2009

2 On The Beat has learned tonight that Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia will urge  county leaders  to continue the controversial 287(g) immigration enforcement program inside the county jails.

On Tuesday morning, for the first time since winning the election, Sheriff Garcia will speak  publicly to County Judge Ed Emmett and members of the commissioners court about 287(g).

You can also expect to hear a fiery debate. I’ve learned that several members of  the public have also signed up to speak.

Sources tell me that the Sheriff will say that he believes the program is working.  

You may recall that last year several county employees completed the 287(g) ICE enforcement training.

Under the program, the trained   sheriffs deputies  ask questions and run fingerprints of  any inmates suspected of  being in the country illegally. 

 If a probable cause is established, the county will contact immigration officials, and eventually a federal judge will decide if the inmate should be deported.

The Sheriff’s recommendation is likely to come under greater scrutiny after Houston Mayor Bill White announced last week that Houston would no longer consider participating in the 287(g) program.

Several conservative members of  the Houston City Council have called a special meeting for this Wednesday to force a vote on the issue.

Meanwhile, activists in the Latino community say that 287(g) is equivalent to racial profiling, makes people afraid to report crimes to police and divides families, when a loved one is deported.

I’ll keep you posted on what happens at commissioners court.