2017-04-14 / Local

Certain Bradford County employees may be cross-designated as ICE agents

BY JAMES LOEWENSTEIN

Staff Writer

Certain Bradford County law enforcement employees might be cross-designated as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

At the Bradford County Prison Board meeting on Thursday, Bradford County Sheriff Clinton “C.J.” Walters announced that he has applied to have the county participate in ICE’s 287-G program.

If the county is accepted into the program, a number of its corrections officers or staff from the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office would be cross-designated as ICE agents, Walters said.

Those employees would undergo training in South Carolina to enforce immigration law, he said. And when they enforce immigration law, they would be required to operate under the supervision of ICE officers, according to ICE’s website.

While the county has not yet received official word that it has been accepted into the program, “I received confirmation that we are on the list to be designated,” Walters said.

The cross-designated county employees would enforce immigration law at the Bradford County Correctional Facility, he said.

One advantage of participating in the program is that the cross-designated county employees would be able to access a database to research whether inmates at the Bradford County jail were illegal immigrants, Walters said.

Currently, Bradford County jail officials must wait for ICE employees to do that research.

The loss of time could come into play when, for example, an individual was arraigned and brought to the Bradford County jail at 2 a.m. and it appeared as if the individual would be able to post bail early that same morning so that he could be released from the prison, the sheriff said. A cross-designated corrections officer would be able to quickly research if that individual was an illegal immigrant, and if he was, that might lead to the individual being held at the jail and thus possibly prevented from committing another crime, he said.

James Loewenstein can be contacted at (570) 265-2151 ext. 1633; or email: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.

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