Councilman Defends Decision Calling For An Audit Of Federal 287g Program

He doesn’t think anything financial mismanagement will be uncovered.


Frederick, Md (KM). Frederick County Councilman Michael Blue (R) has come under fire for standing with County Executive Jan Gardner (D) on Monday when she announced an audit will be conducted of the Sheriff’s Office participation in the federal 287g program. In an appearance on WFMD’s “Mid-Maryland Live,” Blue said he supports Sheriff Chuck Jenkins’ decision to take part in the program, but it should be audited.

“Pretty much any county agency, especially one that is so controversial, should be subject to an audit,” he says.

The federal 287g, administered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, gives deputies the opportunity to determine the immigration status of suspects who are arrested and brought to the Detention Center. It’s implementation in Frederick County has been controversial, and often connected with the national debate over immigration.

Some opponents claim it’s too costly. But Blue says an audit will put that contention to rest. “It’s an ongoing movement to get rid of this program. And what I want to do with this audit is to prove the Sheriff is fiscally responsible,” he said.

Blue says it will also prove that this program does not cost the county’s taxpayers millions of dollars. “I support the 287g program. I support Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. And I think that this is going to get rid of a talking point that those people that hate the 287g program who claim it costs million of dollars,” he says.

In announcing the audit on Monday, County Executive Gardner said it will be conducted by an outside party, and will take a few months to complete. She said this call for an audit does not suggest there’s financial mismanagement of the program.

Others who oppose the program say it promotes racial profiling among deputies. Sheriff Jenkins denies that. He has said any determination of immigration status occurs at the Detention Center after a suspect has been arrested. But opponents say deputies sometimes stop individuals because they feel they may be undocumented aliens. .


By Kevin McManus