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Why I Do Not Trust Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins

Originally written November 8th, 2018.

Since 2008, Jenkins has implemented the 287(g) section of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996. IIRIRA gives law enforcement the ability, in cooperation with the DOJ Attorney General and INS, to detain suspected illegal immigrants and deport them. Jenkins has removed 1400 people from Frederick County. But by his own admission and numbers, only 100 of the 1400 were suspected members of MS-13. If it is true that these were gang members, then perhaps Jenkins was correct to deport them. But what about the other 1300?

IIRIRA and 287(g) make illegal immigration more common. It is not a crime in my opinion, considering that according to Business Insider and several US immigration agencies: “…the asylum-seeking process is a legal one that can only take place once a migrant is already on US soil.” Yet under 287(g), Jenkins and the racist former DOJ AG Jeff Sessions persecuted them, and deported them for “entering illegally”. If they have to enter the US in order for it to be legal asylum, they must not be deported on grounds that they entered; it’s a legal contradiction. IIRIRA empowers law enforcement to deport and ban people from the US for periods of two, five, even ten years. IIRIRA authorizes the border wall, and Executive Orders signed by Trump empower law enforcement to restrict legal immigration.

EO 13769 suspended legal refugee policies for four months, effectively banning refugees, and instituted Trump’s already unconstitutional “travel ban” for a number of months. EO 13780 reaffirms the travel ban for another three months, and the refugee application ban. While 13780 claims it does not apply to asylum seekers or “legitimate” refugees, how can it not when the legal processes for these exceptions have been disrupted by the very same EO and others before it? America is taking great care to frustrate and complicate legal immigration, forcing certain circumstances to occur where the legal route is possibly closed to millions of refugees and asylum seekers. The US government is essentially forcing people to immigrate “illegally”, and then deporting and banning them for doing so. And by enforcing these laws under 287(g), Sheriff Jenkins is a criminal.

US law code and human rights laws state that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Legally, any person entering the US must then be assumed to have entered as part of a legal asylum or refugee process. By deporting them on suspicion of illegal entry, law enforcement nationwide is violating that human rights principle. The first section of the 14th Amendment states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

If I was a constitutional literalist as many conservatives are, I would see the phrases “…subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”, as very important. Every person residing in the US are subject to US law because they’re in US jurisdiction. I could then interpret that to mean that all persons within the US are citizens, and thus the 14th applies to all, which is literally what it was written to do. Thus, Jenkins categorically violates the 14th by enforcing 287(g). By detaining them despite them not committing a crime by being here, Jenkins violated the Fourth Amendment rights of 1300 people. Under IIRIRA, “illegals” are forced to provide their own legal representation, thus it is in violation of the Sixth, which states that the US provides a free lawyer.

Thus, not only are IIRIRA and 287(g) unconstitutional, but by enforcing them, Jenkins has violated the oath of his office. “…I will uphold fundamental human rights and accord equal respect to all people, according to law.” He took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and to serve, in good faith, the public trust. Jenkins has failed. Our Sheriff is a criminal. He is not worthy of the badge he wears, and I demand an immediate federal investigation into Jenkins, I demand his abdication, and I demand his arrest. The lawmen are not allowed to violate the law they’re supposed to uphold. So if I cannot trust my Sheriff, who can I trust? Where else can a man turn for justice?

Johnny Ringo
Johnny Ringo
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Johnny Ringo

Disabled, bisexual American socialist and political activist. Student of politics, aspiring journalist, and academic. Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice.

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