[UPDATE: Dan Genz of the Examiner reports the crackdown won't be all it's cracked up to be or all that Sheriff Simpson requested. This does not bode too well for much change in eastern Loudoun.]
Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson announced yesterday that the federal bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has approved the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office for participation in the federal 287(g) program, which provides authority and additional tools for local government agencies to enforce federal immigration laws.
It’s about time.
NVTH readers may recall that the Sheriff’s changing stance on 287(g) was a controversial issue in the county last year. The Joseph Passarelli tragedy highlighted the spectacular failure of local law enforcement agencies, who had the illegal alien, hit-and-run driver in custody 23 times and let him go in every single instance. Let’s hope the new, formal relationship between our Sheriff’s Office and ICE will also lead to a reversal of what is perceived in Sterling to be a very hands-off approach to illegal aliens by local law enforcement.
The problem as we see it in Sterling appears as follows: Illegal aliens are a sticky wicket for certain local government agencies – specifically, the Sheriff’s Office and the Zoning Enforcement Team – to deal with, so representatives of those agencies routinely give illegal aliens a free pass for infractions that would land citizens in a heap of trouble. If you or I had a DUI incident, turned our residence into a boarding house or began running a construction-related subcontracting business out of our home, we would be spanked legally and financially in short order. Illegals, however, seem to get away with stuff like this all the time. At a “community meeting” a few weeks ago, that was the dominant complaint from the citizens – of ALL ethnic groups – who attended. What we want is for our Sheriff’s Office to apply the same rules to illegal aliens that apply to us, and the new agreement with ICE provides an opportunity for hope that infractions under the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Office will now be dealt with more effectively. (The Zoning Enforcement Team, alas, may be beyond hope, and that is a blog post for another day).
So let’s hope that the continual DUI infractions, assorted related crimes, and crimes of every sort will now begin to abate as the Sheriff’s Office takes a more proactive stance on apprehending and processing illegal aliens suspected of violations. When word gets out that Loudoun County is once more under the rule of law, our community may become a less attractive location for illegal migrant workers.
As reported in today’s New York Times, even the Bush administration has been taking a harder line on illegals which is nothing short of a miracle; so while we can’t expect him to be transformed into Sheriff Joe overnight, we should expect Sheriff Steve Simpson to instill a culture of enforcing the rule of law throughout his department.
In case any of our readers are not clued in about why it is important for local government agencies to have all the necessary tools and authority to apprehend illegal alien criminals rather then let them slip through the net, this seems as good a time as any for another illegal alien recent crime round-up. Most of these links, below the fold, are from our vigilant, esteemed reader Lynn.