“The concept that I should stop a program that deports illegal aliens who have committed crimes in our community defies logic.”Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway responding to critics who say local immigration enforcement is too expensive.

The most recently released Georgia Budget and Policy Institute “study” aimed at an end to voluntary local government cooperation with federal immigration authorities should move GBPI from a “left-leaning on immigration” description to solidly “anti-enforcement.” And it should be long remembered.

Wesley Tharpe, author of the GBPI’s ‘Voluntary Immigration Enforcement a Costly Choice for Georgia Communities’  presents a rather bizarre and anti-American argument that locating, holding and turning over illegal aliens to ICE – after they have already been captured for suspicion of other crimes – is too costly. And is bad for children. And that removing illegal aliens from Georgia communities has a negative effect on public safety.

We can’t help but note that the GBPI opposition to honoring ICE detainers and to 287(g) agreements is based on the usual mindless talking points that are endlessly put forth by the usual anti-borders suspects on the far left, including GALEO, the Democratic Socialists of America and the discredited Alinsky-ites at the SPLC.

While the report acknowledges in a graphic that estimates show Georgia is home to more illegal aliens than Lawful Permanent Residents (“green card” holders) – GBPI overlooked informing readers that according to DHS, we also have more illegal aliens than border-state Arizona.



With its focus on monetary cost, the main target of GBPI’s anti-enforcement report is Gwinnett County and the 287(g) agreement Sheriff Butch Conway has had with ICE since 2009. (Full – and proud – disclosure, this writer has worked to promote and create 287 (g) agreements since 2005). Gwinnett has the largest population of illegal ‘victims of borders’ in the state. But, GBPI is careful to exclude the human costs of illegal immigration and the crime it creates in Georgia.

Gwinnett Sheriff Butch Conway responds with pro-enforcement facts

Here is some public safety-related information not included in the GBPI report from Gwinnett County Sheriff Conway, taken from a statement he sent to this writer on Monday.

“In regard to the cost of locating and reporting illegal aliens in our jail who have committed additional crimes, we point to the results of the original 2009 trial “surge” in the preparation for our 287(g) agreement. That process resulted in federal immigration enforcement officials identifying 914 foreign-born inmates in the Gwinnett County jail for deportation.

This was conducted over a 26-day period.

As previously reported, 489 of the 914 inmates identified as illegal aliens had previous arrests. Some had been arrested and booked numerous times in our jail alone.

Charges for these foreign inmates included, but are not limited to:

Murder 13                                             Felony drug offense 154

Rape 15                                                 Theft of motor vehicle 7

Child molestation 23                           DUI 48

Aggravated assault 38                        Felony probation violation 42

Armed robbery 28                               Hit and run 6

Kidnapping 11                                      Homicide by vehicle 1

Family violence battery 12                  Other felony offenses 45

Burglary 17                                           Misdemeanor probation violation 55

Felony theft 34                                     No driver’s license 226

 Please note that only the most serious charges are listed for inmates with multiple charges.

I have no doubt that Gwinnett County is safer today because of the 287(g) program. There are dramatically lower numbers of foreign-born individuals committing crimes in our county since the program began in November 2009.

During that year, our jail processed 14,730 foreign born arrestees” says Conway.

You can read the entire statement from Sheriff Conway here.

The staff at GBPI – where the slogan is “we offer thoughtful analysis and responsible solutions to improve the state’s budget, taxes and public policies” – tell us that protecting Georgians from illegal immigration is just not worth it. We do not agree, but would ask for an enlightened estimate on the acceptable monetary costs of removing illegal aliens accused of murder, rape and child molestation from our communities – and how doing so reduces public safety.

And, we look forward to learning where Georgia Budget and Policy Institute stands on “Abolish ICE!”

D.A. King is president of the Georgia-based Dustin Inman Society. Twitter: @DAKDIS



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