Marion County Deals with Criminal Aliens

by Wayne Brady
The Marion County Commissioners have been committed to dealing with an increasingly difficult situation with criminal aliens. Criminal aliens have been a significant direct cost to the County as well as incurring costs to the victims of their illegal behavior. One policy change the Commissioners wanted to implement immediately was to have the Sheriff’s Department work more closely with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to maximize the number of criminal aliens that will be taken by ICE.
Starting at the beginning of September, the Sheriff’s Department started providing ICE with all detainees that are foreign born. The information allows ICE to do background checks on the detainees and decide which ones they want to be placed on hold so they can pick them up.
During the month of September, there were 118 ICE notifications. ICE placed holds on 31 detainees. This compares with 10 holds the previous September. So far, there has not resulted in overcrowding in the jail.
On September 11, the Commissioners met with representatives of law enforcement, the District Attorney, and others to review the jail procedures. It was decided at that time that a meeting with ICE would be necessary.
On October 16, the same group met with a representative of ICE and there was a detailed discussion of the relationship between ICE and Marion County and what improvements might be possible. It appears there is more that can be done and all parties appear to be on board.

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