In the midst of an outcry over illegal immigration and Arizona's new crackdown, a top Security official visiting Chicago on Wednesday said his agency intended to step up enforcement in places such as Illinois.
John Morton, who heads U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said his agency intends to expand the Secure Communities initiative, which gives police and sheriff's departments access to a Homeland Security database that includes fingerprints. The initiative recently grew to include most of Chicago's suburbs.
Morton, a former prosecutor, also said the agency intends to increase scrutiny of employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
"If we're going to bring about meaningful changes in behavior, you have to do that by focusing on the employer," he said during a meeting with the Tribune editorial board.
Here’s the problem, anyone charged with a criminal offense that is not a U.S. citizen or has overstayed their visa, etc. has an additional burden to bear. These individuals could very well be held on an ICE detention. That means even if they have posted bond on the criminal charge they still may be held in custody of the federal government during the pendency of their criminal matter. Frequently, at the conclusion of the criminal matter, if there is an acquittal the exonerated now faces deportation proceedings. If, on the other hand, the accused is convicted, they will serve their entire sentence and then, once the sentence is complete deportation proceedings will occur.