New Fayette Immigration Policy Has ID'd Dozens

LEXINGTON, KY -- Since Mayor Jim Newberry's new immigration policy went into effect Feb. 1, the Fayette County Detention Center has been sending the names of 13 to 20 people born outside the United States to federal immigration officials each day, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader in its Sunday edition.

And in the last three weeks, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Kentucky say they have put deportation detainers on an estimated 40 foreign-born nationals who are booked into the Lexington jail.

However, determining exactly how many foreign-born nationals are affected by Newberry's policy could prove difficult, reports the Herald-Leader.

Urban County Government officials, ICE, and local prosecutors are all gathering different numbers from different time frames that show how many immigrants are eligible for deportation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Gail Montenegro told the newspaper one thing is clear: "We have noticed an increase in activity in the past three weeks. As a result of Lexington's new policy, ICE anticipates a growing increase in detainers placed on criminal aliens at the jail."

Montenegro said the jail is faxing a daily list of foreign-born inmates to ICE -- by her agency's estimate more than 20 new arrests each day. That list includes people arrested for misdemeanors as well as felonies. The majority of those people eligible for deportation, Montenegro says, are felons, the Herald-Leader reports.

Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for Newberry, said that jail records show lower numbers than the ICE estimates: an average of 13 names of foreign-born nationals sent each day and 21 detainers in the last three weeks. Part of the reason for the confusion, Straub says, could be that detainer orders can be issued by ICE at any time while inmates are in jail, not just when they are arrested, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Copyright: The Lexington Herald-Leader

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  • by Note to Note to M on Feb 19, 2008 at 04:37 AM
    What part of compassion do you not understand? Yes, these people are illegals. However, they came here because they are dealing with extreme poverty and we did not protect the border. When I say we, I do not mean just the federal government but all of us. Can you blame the illegals for coming? Their family is starving and the US border is so open that the only thing lacking is a welcome sign. Now, that they are here due to our negligence, you choose to show them no mercy. Who cares about breaking up families? Let's just send them home because they were in a minor fender bender or they ran a stop sign. Then, label all that disagree as bleeding hearts. If you want to do something useful with the immigration problem, write congress and demand that they finally finish the border fence. As you can probably guess, the government may never finish the fence unless we keep the pressure up.
  • by Rick Location: Georgetown on Feb 18, 2008 at 08:02 AM
    Mayor Sams of Georgetown LOOK! This is the kind of plan we need!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 18, 2008 at 06:11 AM
    Finally, some good news in the battle against illegal immigrants. Keep up the good work Lexington!
  • by c Location: fkt on Feb 18, 2008 at 04:41 AM
    I'm glad that at least one city in KY is taking some steps towards the problem of illegals in this country! I hope they just ship them back to their own countries! M/Lex, if you want to support them fine, they can all live with you! We have a bunch in Frankfort you can have too! I'm sick of illegals in this country & think it's about time we start deporting them! They come to this country, get free food, free healthcare, free housing, etc. while our own people cannot get any help whatsoever! Charity begins at home, then we can help other counties! Don't tell me that they don't get food stamps because I was in Kroger yesterday & one of them got $300 plus groceries & paid for it with a food stamp card! I cannot afford that kind of money for groceries because I'm too busy being tax to death to help support these illegals! I say, send them all home! Keep up the good work Lexington, perhaps, Frankfort will get with the program soon!
  • by Note to M in Lexington on Feb 18, 2008 at 04:16 AM
    Okay you bleeding heart; what part of illegal don't you understand? Being here illegally is already a crime and is grounds for deportation. You're probably one of those people who will scream "if you can't to the time, don't do the crime" unless of course, you don't agree with it. You have no clue as to the impact (negative) that illegals have on our economy. They get free education, medical and other things without paying a cent into taxes. I'll make you a deal; I'll quit complaining as long as you take your money and support all of
  • by John Location: Lex on Feb 18, 2008 at 03:14 AM
    40 down, 20 million to go
  • by Clair Location: Lexington on Feb 17, 2008 at 05:35 PM
    Thank you mayor, please let us know what and when the federal government acts on this.
  • by M Location: Lexington on Feb 17, 2008 at 04:39 PM
    Is this supposed to considered a good thing? What about the mothers and fathers who are trying to support their children? I am deeply saddned by this new policy. I misdeamenor could mean getting into a fender bender and being caught without citizenship papers with this new policy.
  • by david Location: somerset on Feb 17, 2008 at 08:00 AM
    way to go lexington, look at this city of somerset, grow some b***s and step up to the plate


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