Really, the extent to which I do not know things sometimes stuns me. So, I’m mulling over this whole Windlands Center situation, where you’ve got a nursing home keeps its residents’ security deposits if they don’t give 30 days notice before they vacate their beds, even if by “vacate their beds” you mean “die.” That’s $900 for every surprise death. Makes you wonder what impetus the Windlands Center has to give their residents the best care they can, then, doesn’t it?
And then I read this over at The Nashvillest:
Davidson County and Tennessee are at risk of losing about $600,000 annually if President Obama decides to stop reimbursing state and local prisons for housing criminals who are also undocumented immigrants. A cut like this could put a pretty big dent in 287(g) local immigration enforcement programs like the one here in Davidson.
And I follow their link to the Tennessean article, where I read:
As part of the upcoming year’s budget, President Barack Obama has proposed cutting the State Criminal Alien Assistance program, which spends $400 million annually to cover the costs state and local facilities incur in keeping in jail illegal immigrants who are also criminal offenders. In Tennessee, the state Department of Correction got more than $350,000 from the program. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office received $274,000.
And then I read:
The funding is unrelated from sheriff’s participation in the federal 287g program. The Sheriff’s Office has staff trained as deputies of Immigration and Customs Enforcement that question foreign-born inmates to determine whether they’re in the country legally. If they aren’t, they’re placed under a hold and turned over to federal custody to face deportation when they’ve finished serving their local sentence.Through that program, the sheriff is reimbursed for staff and the cost of holding inmates as federal detainees until they’re picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [emphasis mine]
I repeat. The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office gets a quarter of a million dollars from the federal government for keeping illegal immigrants in jail. This is in addition to whatever money they get from the sheriff’s participation in 287(g). (I called over to TIRRC to find out how much money the Sheriff gets from the Feds for people held under 287(g) and they’re going to email me with the number. I’ll update this post when I have it.)
If I can be cynical just a moment, this has got to be the best deal ever for the Nashville police. Most people who are here illegally are otherwise just like you and me in terms of the crimes they commit. They run a red light. They speed. They smoke a little dope. They get in fist fights at bars. In other words, they behave just like 90% of other Tennesseans. So, if you’re a police officer and you see two cars run a red light and one looks like it might be full of six-foot bikers on meth and you can see for sure that that’s a shot gun in the back window and the other car is full of five brown guys coming home from work, IT BEHOOVES YOU TO PULL OVER THE GUYS JUST GETTING OFF WORK. It is the option that makes the most sense. You are not going to get into a confrontation with cranked out armed bikers. You’re going to get five tired guys who’ve been working hard all day. And, if you arrest them, the department gets paid for them.
You stay safe. You stay busy. And you bring in money for the department. Of course, one wonders if this is the best deal ever for Nashville. After all, that car full of cranked out armed bikers was heading somewhere. But possibly best we don’t think about that too hard.
Instead, let’s return to the fact that we, as a city, bring in income by… um… how exactly to put this? By putting a monetary value on certain members of our community and then getting paid their value by the Feds, and, with the 287(g) program, in exchange for their bodies.
I don’t know how else to understand what I have learned here today: Davidson County sells illegal immigrants to the United States Government. The United States Government pays us for those people. We sell them. They buy them.