Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Hasta la vista Pendergraph

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Jim Pendergraph, who became well known for implementing a 287 (g) program (which trains deputies about the process of identifying undocumented immigrants and then deporting them) here in Charlotte, is taking a job with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security created a new job, the executive director of state and local coordination.

The program is in desperate need of study, as both supporters and opponents throw around arguments based on the scanty raw numbers released by the Sheriff’s office. A comprehensive study at the very least would break down the specific arrests, look at the outcome, and even look at where the arrests were made and why they were made. Then it would need to include a survey of the Latino population, since the major criticism is that it is making a significant part of the population feel more insecure, while everyone else feels good that they’re getting rid of “criminals.”

The Spanish-language paper Mi Gente has reactions from the local Latino community. The general response is to be glad he’ll no longer be in Charlotte, but concerned that the new post will be a platform for targeting the entire Latino population.

I think the new post reflects the utter failure of the federal government. It can be summed up as the following: if you cannot get any significant legislation passed, then make the bureaucracy bigger and proclaim victory. We can only wait and see what kind of impact Pendergraph will have on a national scale.


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