Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims is at the forefront of an aggressive deportation policy. President-elect Trump has publicly stated that one of his priorities is securing the US border with Mexico and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants from south of that border. And, like President Obama before him, Mr. Trump wants to focus resources on deporting undocumented immigrants who have been arrested. Sheriff Mims believes that local law enforcement officials and federal ICE agents should be working more closely to make deporting undocumented immigrants suspected of crimes more efficient. This is why she has invited ICE agents to set up a permanent station inside the county jail to check the status of suspects. According to a recent NPR story, Sheriff Mims believes this should be the model for the nation.
While nearly any effort to reform immigration policy in the US should be considered, this approach may be fraught with ethical challenges. Many critics argue that undocumented immigrants who are valuable members of their communities are being deported for minor crimes. Furthermore, the risk that someone may be deported after being arrested for a crime they did not commit may also create challenging legal and ethical problems especially if the program is deployed nationally, critics contend.