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"I think now we are aligning with what the majority of the county sheriff's are doing across the state" said Gonzalez.

Recent guidance from the Department of Homeland Security and bombastic rhetoric from the Oval Office have immigrants and advocates very concerned about the status of immigration law and policy.

Like Long and Culpepper, Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said ICE itself has always been a bottleneck to local agencies' immigration enforcement efforts.

On Tuesday the Dept. of Homeland Security released a pair of memos outlining how it intends to enforce President Trump's executive order regarding illegal immigration and border security, including plans to hire 10,000 more immigration officers, end the "catch and release" policy that allowed some people caught crossing the border to be released into the United States pending immigration hearings, and increase the number of expedited removals from the country.

The ICE program, authorized by a 1996 immigration law, has seen limited use nationwide, but was employed by former Sheriff Adrian Garcia and continued by Sheriff Ron Hickman.

"In the often unsafe law enforcement arena, being able to immediately identify yourself as law enforcement may be a life-or-death issue", the statement continued. But Trump suggested the opposite approach that same day, calling deportations a "military operation".

ICE officials have declined to idenfity the 51 people detained as part of "Operation Cross Check" that occurred during a four-day period in the second week of February, according to the report.

"The majority of people would prefer, as long as nobody is committing egregious crimes, that [immigrants] be left alone", he said.

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State Rep. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, said that "families in southwest Detroit are literally afraid to go to church on Sundays because they fear that ICE will conduct a raid".

"Unfortunately, we have seen similar scams in other regions", Walls said.

Trump's threat to withhold funds from sanctuary cities and this week's memo about working more closely with local officers seem to point to the same issue: that "the federal government is at a significant information deficit", said Pratheepan Gulasekaram, who teaches immigration law at Santa Clara University School of Law.

"There has not been a major shift or visible shift that we know of, but I believe they have more freedom to conduct raids and immigration enforcement, because the priority for law enforcement is broader now and it could be just anybody" who is in the country illegally, she said. "Those persons will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and when appropriate, arrested by ICE". Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, whose Texas jurisdiction includes Fort Worth and is the 16th most populous county in the USA, announced earlier this month that his department is also applying for the 287 (g) program. They can identify, detain and assist in deportations, she said. So when we get an advisory from a court that says "free this person" the clock starts ticking. It is critical that everyone understand their rights in any law enforcement situation, including when dealing with immigration enforcement officers.

"These policies, they're not going to make anybody safer", Best said.

FCPD Chief of Police Edwin Roessler said community involvement was definitely part of the case that helped them solve it.

A protest on February 9 following news of ICE enforcement sweeps. John Kelly, secretary of DHS, gave ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection more authority in immigration enforcement, including the power to deport incarcerated undocumented immigrants or those apprehended at the border.


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