There are two recent articles on Guadagno’s application for Monmouth County Sheriffs to be trained as ICE agents (so called 287g). No surprise that the weekly Examiner had a more reasonable headline than the APP:
Examiner’s: Opinions differ on need for immigration checks
APP: Monmouth jail got good deal on housing illegals
Even Chris Christie has pointed out that “illegals” as a term is incorrect, as many people who are undocumented have over-stayed a visa, which is not a crime. Drivers who let their parking meter run out are not ‘illegal drivers’.
The content of the APP article, on the other hand, is surprising, they quote Guadagno’s Sheriff’s Dept Spokeswoman as saying:
The rate paid by the federal government to house detainees at the 1,328-inmate-capacity Monmouth County Jail was increased from $80 per day to $105 in May 2007…
Scott said the cost of housing, feeding and guarding an inmate comes to $134 per day…
There are currently 250 federal inmates housed at the $105 daily rate. Of those, 150 are being held on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Scott said.
We have a similar number of ICE detainees in the Middlesex County jail and there is no way that the cost of housing the detainees exceeds the $95 that Mdlsx County receives.
Guadagno’s budget needs to be reviewed in detail, since as a commenter on the APP website, ‘simplicitytruth’ points out, since her spokeswoman is saying this could be costing the county up to $2,646,250 per year!
The bottom line on the program that Guadagno is going after, is that it will not generate that many more candidates for rented beds in the Monmouth jail, since the Attorney General’s directive already requires that people who commit felonies or DUIs be turned over to ICE. That means that anyone who is questioned by the newly trained corrections officers (meals and per diem for the training at the county’s expense, along with overtime for the replacement officers) will have committed a minor offense.
It will lead to more civil rights violations, since revisions to the mandatory detention policy have not been implemented. Detainees have no guaranteed right to a lawyer, and most can’t afford one. Mukasay, in a midnight ruling, didn’t even want them to be allowed the right to competent counsel, but luckily that was rescinded.
Last month, ICE announced new Memos of Agreement with agencies and counties that have or will get 287g, which the ACLU points out is worse than the Bush administration one in certain ways – letting these guys issue warrants instead of a judge has me worried for one. You can see their comparison of the old and the new memos here.
The priorities under the new MOA are supposed to be for exactly the kind of violations that are already covered by the Attorney General’s directive.
If you want to see the clearest case of 287g gone wrong, check out The New Yorker’s article on Sheriff Joe, Arpaio of Maricopa Co. Arizona. It gives some insight into Sec’y Napolitano too.
Guadagno has at least said that visitors to the jail won’t be checked, but most people who are out of status are too afraid to anyway, even if it’s a close family member being detained.
So why does Guadagno want to cost the county money and antagonize the community? According to the Latino Leadership Alliance of Monmouth county, it’s all for political gain. It seems we will be seeing alot about the immigration issue during the upcoming campaign. I’m prepared for a very ugly election season.
Finally, the APP quote from John Morton, the new director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is downright scary and says alot about where the new administration is going.
Morton said ICE has long-term plans to find arrangements that are more suitable than prison-like facilities. “We’re going to focus on building a better mouse trap,” he said.
Comparing inmates to mice puts me in mind of Art Spiegelman’s Maus.