1996 article claims most immigrants screened by INS at jail committed "minor off
- NewsBank InfoWeb
Orange County Register, The (Santa Ana, CA)
The Orange County Register
June 26, 1996
Anaheim jail effort inefficient, says INS
IMMIGRATION: Agency recommends the resources be
redirected to Orange County Jail.
Author: MARLA JO FISHER; DINA ELBOGHDADY: The Orange
Dateline: ANAHEIM, CA
Estimated printed pages: 2
A report from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization
Service recommends that its pilot program to identify
illegal immigrants in the Anaheim jail be shut down
and its resources diverted to increase the INS
presence at the Orange County Jail in Santa Ana.
"The Anaheim jail project is not an efficient use
of limited INS management resources," says the report
from John Brechtel, INS acting officer in charge for
The INS recommendation was rejected Tuesday by
Reps. Chris Cox, R-Newport Beach, and Robert K.
Dornan, R-Garden Grove, who want to keep an
immigration agent at the Anaheim jail. Dornan said
shifting the agents to the county would defeat the
program's purpose -- testing the effectiveness of
having agents at the city level.
"Congress won't agree to the INS recommendation
because it makes no sense," Dornan said.
The INS paid for the pilot program for two months.
According to the June 18 report, an INS agent
interviewed 1,903 people arrested during that period,
ending May 25. Thirty-seven percent were foreign-born.
A total of 451 arrestees, or 24 percent of those
interviewed, were determined to be illegal immigrants.
Of those, 410 had no criminal record, according to the
memo. Most immigrants "were arrested for minor
offenses," such as being drunk in public, the report
Anaheim Councilman Bob Zemel said Tuesday that the
INS does not understand what the city wants to
City officials want to identify illegal immigrants
before they go to court, Zemel said, so judges will
know they might jump bail before trial. He also
dismissed the contention that most illegal immigrants
are arrested for nonviolent crimes.
"How dare they tell us, in our community we have to
put up with being drunk in public, that is not a crime
against our citizens," Zemel said.
INS officials declined Tuesday to comment on the
report, saying they were scheduled to meet today with
Anaheim city officials to discuss it.
An INS agent works part time five days a week at
the Orange County Jail to identify prisoners scheduled
to be released who could be deported instead. The
report recommends that be increased to seven days.
Copyright 1996 The Orange County Register
Record Number: OCR687477