Tuesday October 13th, 2015 8:01AM

Groups want end of local enforcement program

By The Associated Press
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) -- The federal government should stop allowing local police in Georgia to enforce U.S. immigration laws because it leads to racial profiling and erodes public trust, according to a recent letter from a coalition of 25 groups.

The groups sent a letter Thursday to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking her to end the so-called 287(g) program, which authorizes local police officers to enforce federal immigration law.

"Today in Georgia, as in many states with 287(g) agreements, the color of a person's skin and the accent of his or her voice create a target for harassment, pretextual arrest, and humiliating detention," the letter said. "Hard experience has taught us that local police too often fail to implement federal immigration law in a manner that is racially neutral or that conforms to the standards of your agency."

Attorney Arturo Corso, whose law firm signed the letter said the program was not being used to target criminals and drug offenders as originally intended. Corso said the majority of those deported are nonviolent traffic offenders.

The Hall County Sheriff's Office, which has reached an enforcement agreement with the federal government, defended the program. Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks, an agency spokesman, said that the United States is a "nation of laws."

"As such, it's imperative that we uphold and enforce our laws, including our immigration laws," he said. "We feel that we've done our best to do that in a consistent and fair manner."

Wilbanks said the enforcement agreement is not intended as a tool for patrol officers to target suspected illegal immigrants.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
UN is next stop for Obama after success with Iran, pope; top issues are IS, Syria, Russia
NEW YORK (AP) — Fresh from successes on Iran and with the pope, President Barack Obama still carried heavy burdens into critical meetings this week at the U.N. General Assembly.They include the threat...
3:31PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Stunning Congress, House Speaker Boehner announces plans to resign; tea party declares victory
WASHINGTON (AP) — Plunging Congress into deeper turmoil, House Speaker John Boehner abruptly announced his resignation Friday, shutting down a tea party drive to depose the nation's highest-ranking Re...
6:14PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Tornado heavily damages 10 homes but causes no injuries on island in South Carolina
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — A tornado quickly blew through a neighborhood on the South Carolina coast early Friday and blew out windows, knocked down trees and heavily damaged ten homes.The tornado touc...
5:08PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Caterpillar says it may cut more than 10,000 jobs by 2018, lowers 2015 revenue expectation
Caterpillar is planning another round of job cuts that could exceed 10,000 people through 2018, as the construction and mining equipment maker adjusts to downturns in key markets.That could amount to...
10:06AM ( 2 weeks ago )
Escaped tarantula grounds Atlanta-bound flight in Baltimore
An eight-legged creature that escaped in the cargo hold of a passenger flight from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International grounded the plane and sent passengers onto another flight.
By The Associated Press
9:06AM ( 2 weeks ago )