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Immigration enforcement a priority for public safety

The importance of the recently approved application for the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department to help identify and deport illegal aliens captured for additional crimes should not be underestimated - by anyone.

Citizens and lawfully present residents in Gwinnett - and all of Georgia - should be very concerned about the fact that after nearly two years of work, the recently approved 287(g) authority could fall victim to budgetary cuts and not be implemented.

The 287(g) program is a crime deterrent. Everyone concerned should remember that nationwide, without exception, in every community where 287(g) is used, people in the United States illegally leave for less risky areas in which to live.

The reality is that Gwinnett - and therefore Georgia - is now a North American center of operation for dangerous gangs and Mexican drug cartels. The news of huge drug busts, each seemingly bigger than the last, come nearly every week. Not many Gwinnett residents are unaware of the rising crime and gang activity in the once safe and secure Gwinnett community.

The 287(g) program will have an immediate effect of driving much of the already illegally present criminal element out of Gwinnett, and in the process save tax dollars that are now going to finance their law enforcement, incarceration and translation services, and the medical care and education costs of dependents.

This is not only a start on the return to the rule of law - it is a net tax dollar saver.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement cannot handle the job of enforcement alone, which is why Congress created the 287(g) program in 1996. It was and is intended as a force multiplier and a way for local law enforcement to protect and serve their communities, much the same way illegal immigration is handled in Mexico.

For proof positive of the effectiveness of the 287(g) program, one has only to listen to the loud, outrageous opposition from the well-financed, anti-enforcement, open borders industry.

The radical ACLU has formed an entire organization - the Georgia Detention Watch - to fight existing and future use of the federally authorized and monitored local enforcement program - its stated mission. The far left's false talking points are always the same: Immigration is a federal responsibility, even when they are simultaneously opposing federal enforcement on the federal level.

Using ridiculous howls of "racial profiling" and "xenophobia," enemies of immigration enforcement are shameless in their willingness to smear anyone with the courage to stand up and demand that American law be equally applied.

Even Immigration laws. Even for Hispanics.

What they are hoping you won't stop and think about is the fact that the nation of Mexico uses its military to defend its borders, severely punishes illegal employment and deports nearly as many illegal aliens each year as does the United States. Most of these people are Hispanics looking for a better life.

The race-baiting subversive left tries hard to convince citizens, the media and our elected officials that 287(g) will somehow "make the community less safe." The response should always be to note the 900 illegals that were discovered in the Gwinnett jail in just 26 days earlier this year.

More than half of them had a previous criminal history. New charges included murder, rape, kidnapping, child molestation and felony drug dealing. But the sole reason for deportation is violation of our immigration laws.

No reasonable citizen can accept that removing this element from Gwinnett has made it less safe, or that any crime is too "minor" for an illegal alien to be apprehended.

The 287(g) program in Gwinnett should be implemented at any cost. The tax dollars it will save are uncountable. The lives it will surely save could be anyone's family member.

Gwinnett residents should speak up loudly for 287(g) implementation.

D.A. King is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society, which is opposed to open borders and illegal immigration.