The nine jailers assigned to the Harris County Inmate Processing Center will undergo a four week instruction at ICE’s Federal Law Enforcement Training in Georgia. Sheriff’s Department spokesman Captain John Martin says it will allow them to question inmates about their immigration status and hold them for federal agents.
“If there’s not an ICE agent there, we’ll notify the agency, but we cannot place a detainer on someone for them. They have to initiate that. One of the things that this “287-G” training will enable us to do, it will give us more authority in trying to identify and detain people who are maybe in the country illegally but, we would actually be able to place those detainers ourselves. That’s one of the aspects that we would benefit from this training.”
The program is provided by ICE at no cost, but Harris County will have to foot travel expenses. Sheriff Tommy Thomas says it is hoped that the training will eventually lead to a reduction in crime by assisting immigration officials with screening suspected illegal immigrants.
Pat Hernandez, KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.