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County’s Immigration-Enforcement Policies Draw Complaints But Not From Businesses, Voters | NumbersUSA - For Lower Immigration Levels

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County’s Immigration-Enforcement Policies Draw Complaints But Not From Businesses, Voters

Frederick County Maryland’s reputation for cracking down on illegal immigration has drawn the ire of pro-illegal alien groups and prompted one to name County Board President Blaine Young to its “Hall of Shame” for 2012. But that reputation has not hurt the area’s business climate or Young’s political prospects.

The County adopted its first enforcement measure in 2007 when Sheriff Chuck Jenkins enrolled in the federal 287(g) program. That program, which empowers local police to take an active role in the deportation of illegal aliens, contributed to the deportation of more than 1,000 illegal aliens. It also put Frederick County on the radar screen of illegal-alien advocacy groups.

In 2011, Sheriff Jenkins worked with President Young and other Commissioners to develop a package of immigration-enforcement measures. One measure pushed that year would have established police immigration status checks under limited circumstances but it failed to gain approval.

The package, re-introduced this year by President Young, included a requirement for businesses to use E-Verify and an illegal-alien rental ban. Although President Blaine did not have the votes to pass the immigration enforcement measures, he was able to pass an ordinance establishing English as the official County language.

Immigrants' List, a pro-illegal alien political action committee, called the proposals “xenophobic" and named Young to its "Hall of Shame" on May 31st. The group’s 2012 lineup includes Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Maricopa County Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others. Upon learning he was on the list, Young’s reaction to a reporter was, “Wow ... looks like a good class of people…It amuses me. I'm not anti-immigration, but we have an illegal alien issue."

In its May 31st news release, Immigrants’ List said that Young’s “extreme policies hurt local business owners and waste taxpayer dollars while he earns the support of fringe special interest groups…Blaine Young’s unprecedented expansion of county government into immigration policy is hurting Frederick County’s working families and making the community a harder place to do business.”

But a local reporter following up on the story discovered that the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce has not raised any concerns on behalf of its members. Chamber president Ric Adams said, "We understand the concerns of the Immigrants' List PAC, but haven't heard from any of our members regarding immigration issues or the county's immigration policies impacting their businesses.”

Young says the County’s pro-enforcement stance has not hurt business growth as Immigrants’ List suggests. “The proof’s not in the pudding,” Young said. “Since 287(g) went in effect, we deported 1,000 aliens who committed crimes and that hasn’t hurt us in business or growth ... [that program] is one they are most critical and most fearful of, and that hasn’t had any effect on business.”

Young, who kicked off his campaign this week for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, doesn’t think the designation will hurt his prospects. “It obviously puts me on the radar screen,” Young said. “I don’t know if it will help me, but it won’t hurt me.”

Young has received a lot of supportive emails from people across the state since being named to the list. He said that the illegal immigration issue crosses party lines, as indicated by the “tremendous number of Democrats who signed the petition for a referendum to repeal the Dream Act giving children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates.”

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In the News

Ark. AG certifies measure aimed at denying services to illegal immigrants

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The Arkansas attorney general's office has cleared the way for signature-gathering by supporters of a proposed ballot measure requiring government agencies to verify that all those seeking public benefits in the state are legal U.S. residents.

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E-Verify vilified as California company fires 260 undocumented workers

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Even though E-Verify has been postponed until September of this year, one California company heeded the government’s warning and put all their employees through the verification process.

A Vernon, California food processing and packaging company, Overhill Farms, Inc. fired 260 workers who had given the company fraudulent Social Security numbers. The company found in a recent Internal Revenue Services audit that approximately 260 employees’ social security numbers were invalid.

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One of Arizona's staunchest critics of illegal immigration says politicians who don't aggressively enforce immigration laws should be removed from office.

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In the News - Thursday, May 14, 2009

E-Verify is an effective way to attack the jobs magnet for illegal immigrants, said Roy Beck, executive director of Numbers USA, which favors stricter controls on immigration. Beck said he hoped the increase in funding would result in more employers signing up.

"If there aren't jobs, they stop coming," he said. "We would rather solve the immigration problems not with people wearing uniforms and guns but simply with papers, just running someone through the computer."

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Personal pain from the front lines of immigration reform battle

In the News - Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Margaret Heintz sputtered in frustration.

"There's nothing we can do," the Marshalltown, Iowa, woman said to her daughter, Mona Kilborn, when they talked about their shared point of aggravation -- illegal immigrants.

"Mom, you can do something," Kilborn said. "You can write your congressman. I'll even get you the address."

So in September 2007, the 90-year-old Heintz put pen to paper for her first letter to a politician. Two weeks later, she died at the hands of an illegal immigrant.

"Ironic, isn't it?" Kilborn said. "This one issue, it's changed our lives forever....""

Bekah Porter, (Dubuque, IA) Telegraph Herald, 13 May 2009

Senator not surprised by illegals bill vote

In the News - Friday, April 3, 2009

Colorado state Sen. Ted Harvey said he wasn't surprised to learn that a key vote on a bill to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants had been rescheduled after he went out of town to care for an Alzheimer's-afflicted relative in deteriorating health.

Mr. Harvey, a Republican, had planned to vote against Senate Bill 170 when it came up at the Friday committee hearing. After Mr. Harvey flew to Florida on Tuesday morning, however, Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee moved up the vote to Wednesday.

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Md. schools forbid illegals head count

In the News - Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"The Maryland State Board of Education on Tuesday said Frederick County officials are prohibited by federal law from seeking a count of how many illegal immigrants are in the county school system....

"What the Supreme Court says is that you cannot deny the public education. The same Supreme Court decision doesn't talk about [the Board of Education's] ability to provide information," Mr. Jenkins said.

Mr. Jenkins said that if the number of illegal immigrants in the school system were known, taxpayers would know more about where their money is going. He also said that if the head count were taken, the county could ask the federal government to help fund the education of those without legal status"

Mark Chenoweth, Washington Times, March 25, 2009

Montgomery County, Md. Proposes Changes to Immigration Policy

In the News - Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A proposal, developed by Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger, asks for the approval to question suspects, arrested of violent crimes and weapons offenses, about their immigration status, a complete reversal in a county where government officials, for years, refused to do so even when neighboring jurisdictions adopted the practice.

By Joe Slaninka - Montgomery (Md.) County Sentinel

Bush Pardons Exclude Ramos and Compean

In the News - Wednesday, December 24, 2008

President Bush granted clemency to 20 people Tuesday, including a man who was convicted of delivering planes used by Israel in its 1948 war of independence and a real estate developer whose father has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates and the party.

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ICE detainees arrive in Grand Island

In the News - Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday marked the start of housing federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees in the new Hall County Jail.

"We got our first vanload today," Supervisor Scott Arnold said at a county board meeting Tuesday.

He chairs the county's Corrections Steering Committee.

Arnold wasn't certain how many detainees were in a "vanload" and Corrections Director Fred Ruiz had already left Tuesday's county board meeting prior to Arnold providing an update to other supervisors on the ICE contract.

Tracy Overstreet, Grand Island (Ne.) Independent, December 9, 2008