Sheriffs Concerns With Illegals

February 01, 2017 - 7:37 am
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WICHITA, Kan. - Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter addressed the County Commission at their Wednesday morning meeting to express his concerns on how best to deal with illegal aliens in the county.

Armed with a packet of information that included current federal directives and President Trumps Executive Order, he cited cases where cities or counties declared themselves "sanctuary" areas and lost out on millions of dollars in federal funds.

He also had information on cases where lawsuits were filed against them worth even more money in addition to defense legal fees.

To add to his frustration as a law enforcement official, is the fact that ICE (Immigration Control Enforcement) is not giving his department the support he needs and expects.

By law, the department is to notify ICE when someone of questionable origin is arrested for comitting a crime. ICE then is to check the individual, and, if found to be illegal, give a "request" to hold them for 48 hours for pick-up.  He points out, local law does not search for illegals, and in fact, is not deputized to make arrests for such.

If an individual is booked, ICE is to be notified at their release, and the county must hold them for the 48 hours for ICE pick-up. ICE has not been responding to the departments reports.

The county can be in trouble for detaining the individual beyound 48 hours, but can also be found guilty for releasing them.

Sheriff Easter says he believes if someone is in this country illegally and commits a crime, they should be deported. But he is at the will of the Federal Government. He said he is sworn to uphold the law, and is happy to do so. But he needs the backing of local government.

He said if the city or county is defined as a santuary, they will lose out on Federal funds, up to 12 million dollars. But, he says there are no laws, rules, guidelines or anything else that legally defines a sanctuary.  Any lawsuits filed by the federal government would be markedly more.

Commissioners said they will confer with the legal department and formulate a plan  the county follow  and give their findings as soon as they are able to do so.
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