FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — The Frederick County Government has announced an audit of a program that allows the sheriff’s office to perform immigration enforcement.
County Executive Jan Gardner and members of the Frederick County Council said Monday that a third-party auditor will look into county funds related to the 287(g) Program, a partnership between the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials say they aim to find out how much county funding and tax-payer money may have gone to the program.
“The immigration system in our country is broken and because congress has been unable to address or pass comprehensive immigration reform, some of these issues have rolled down to the local level. The goal is simply to get an independent answer to a question and in this case that question is how much local dollars are being expended related to this program,” said County Executive, Jan Gardner.
In a statement, Gardner explained that Sheriff Chuck Jenkins had entered into the partnership legally and that the agreement requires no appropriation of county funds.
“All the cost associated with technology, with computers, with transportation, is provided by ICE program funding. The only cost to the county is the staff time of the correctional officers to go to the training and prepare the detainers,” explained Sheriff Chuck Jenkins.
Jenkins added that he was disappointed in the actions of the county government and said the audit questions his integrity and management of the program.
Jenkins says in the 11 years of the 287 (g) program, roughly 1,750 criminal immigrants have been deported.
The sheriff and county officials will discuss the program at a public meeting to be hosted in the coming months.