November 19, 2007

Neil Warren, Cobb sheriff seeks fed certification…Jerry not happy

Posted by D.A. King at 12:38 am - Email the author   Print This Post Print This Post  

Cobb jail seeks federal status on immigrants
Sheriff’s request: Deal would mean ‘guaranteed’ reimbursement for holding inmates awaiting deportation

By Mary Lou Pickel
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 11/18/07

Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren has asked the federal government to certify his jail as a detention center for illegal immigrants.

The sheriff has been housing illegal inmates under an oral agreement for reimbursement.

Federal immigration agents inspected Cobb’s jail last month. They said it qualifies, Warren said, and he expects to sign an agreement with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement soon.

The contract would give the sheriff “absolute, guaranteed payment” for holding the illegal immigrants, said Col. Don Bartlett of the Cobb sheriff’s office.

He added that a written agreement is not necessary for the sheriff to hold an inmate for ICE.

“We’ve done it for years and other jurisdictions have, too. It’s valid as long as you have the ICE detainer and they are saying, ‘Hold him for me,'” Bartlett said.

What’s new is that Cobb’s jail is the first in the state to enter an agreement with the federal government to help enforce immigration laws relating to those booked into the jail, no matter the severity of the charge.

State law requires all jails to check the residency status of any foreign-born inmate charged with a felony or DUI. Cobb will run checks on all foreign-born inmates, including those charged with misdemeanors.

Cobb has trained 12 sheriff’s deputies to act as ICE agents and start deportation proceedings. The effort has resulted in a large increase in the number of inmates charged with immigration violations.

During one week in October, 477 illegal immigrants waited in Cobb’s jail facing deportation.

Read the rest here…