Novembers program featured Chief Tim Albin from the Tulsa County Sheriff?s office and Wayne Kirkpatrick, a retired ICE agent with 27 years of experience. ICE stands for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In attendance with Chief Albin was Shannon Clark, also with the Tulsa County Sheriff's office.
These three gentlemen have been the 'face' of House Bill 1804 to the public groups curious about the impact of this bill. Their goal is to let the public know what has taken place since the bill became law and what the goal is of the Tulsa County Sheriff's office in enforcing this new law.
First and foremost, Chief Albin pointed out that their main goal was to look for criminals, not illegal immigrants. Criminals such as drug runners and rapists are more of the focus than just going out and looking for illegal immigrants to send back to their home country. The Chief emphasized that if someone is arrested, their background will be checked and if it is determined that they are in the country illegally, they will be turned over to the proper authorities for deportation.
A main observation Chief Albin had is that the public is very passionate about the issue of illegal immigrants. He said there is no common ground. You are either for it or against it with no in-between. He noted that on one hand you have a guy that is for ethnic cleansing and on the other hand you have the 'round 'em up and shoot 'em on the court house steps mentality.
Shannon Clark took over for Chief Albin and talked about the 287G program. This references the INS Federal Act Code wherein the U.S. Attorney General, empowered by Congress, gives local authorities the same power as ICE (a division of Homeland Security) to deal with illegal immigrants. While having the power to deal with illegal immigrants on a local basis, Shannon noted that the Immigrations Code is as complicated as the Tax Code. It even has more forms to fill out than the Tax Code. To learn about the Immigrations Code and to be able to enforce it, Shannon and others like him take a 13-week course (they actually only have 5 weeks to take the 13-week course). After passing the course, those that take it become the local ?authority? on immigration enforcement issues. However, they still depend on other immigration professionals to assist them.
At the end of the program, there was a question and answer period. One question had to do with the issue of taxes being taken out for illegal workers. Shannon explained that if an employer fails to take out taxes on an illegal worker, they would subsequently be taxed at the highest rate. Another question had to do with the number of arrests and deportations since the law went into effect. Shannon said that there have been no arrests to date as a direct result of the bill. Again, they aren?t out looking for illegals. They are looking for big time criminals. If they also happen to be illegal immigrants, they will be deported.
Thanks once again to Mark Cohlmia for helping the chapter land Chief Albin and his associates to speak to the chapter.