Harford's Sheriff Gahler invites Kamenetz to join ICE program

BEL AIR, Md. - Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler responded to Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s letter on illegal immigration. The Sheriff invited Kamenetz to join the Immigration & Customs Enforcement Division program that Harford is assisting.

The Homeland Security/ICE 287-G program is designed to partner the federal agency with local police departments in an effort to identity illegal immigrants in detention centers. Since Harford announced they would be joining last year, deputies have been specially trained to identify violent offenders who are not U.S. citizens.

The partnership provides deputies with the tools and authority to enforce immigration laws and ensure individuals who commit crimes while in the U.S. illegally are turned over to federal authorities once they fulfill their obligation to the state of Maryland.

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"These individuals pose a real and credible threat to public safety and even our national security,” Gahler said.

Yesterday, Kamenetz sent out his own letter saying he would support any students here in the country illegally in the five county colleges.

In a letter* sent to the chancellor of the University System of Maryland as well as the presidents of the Community College of Baltimore County, Goucher College, Stevenson University, Towson University and UMBC, Kamenetz indicated that county police would not participate in any effort to identify students and subject them to deportation by federal authorities.

 "These students were children when they arrived in this country," said Kamenetz. "They were raised here and have no identification with their native country. They should be allowed to continue with their education and pursue a path to citizenship, without police harassment."

In his letter, Gahler noted that the current ICE program has existed under President Obama and expects it to continue under President-elect Trump. “Given your recent letter challenging our Governor to stop something that has not started, or even to my knowledge been promoted by the President Elect, I thought I would extend a similar invitation to you in the true interest of public safety. “

The County Executive had also copied the Governor in his letter. “Governor Hogan needs to do more than tell Marylanders to take a deep breath, “ Kamenetz wrote. 

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