• 45°

States can assist with immigration laws

Illegal immigration remains a vastly discussed and debated topic today. Issues ranging from crime rates to unemployment cause many citizens concern about the number of individuals who are entering our country and state illegally.

As a state, Ohio is looking at ways to assist federal officials in detaining and prosecuting individuals who are in our country and state illegally.

While I greatly support the legal immigration of individuals who demonstrate talent and prove to be an asset to our society, I do not support illegal immigrants who enter into our country and take advantage of the system of life we have in place.

Although illegal immigration is governed by federal law, it proves to be a state and local problem. Two bills related to local enforcement of federal illegal immigration laws have passed the Ohio Senate this week, Senate Bill 150 and Senate Bill 35.

Senate Bill 150, sponsored by Sen. Gary Cates (R-Butler County), authorizes a county sheriff, at the direction of the Board of County Commissioners and upon the request of federal immigration officials, to take custody of a person being detained for deportation or who are charged with civil violations of federal immigration law.

Additionally, Senate Bill 150 authorizes a county sheriff to assist federal immigration officials in matters related to the investigation, apprehension, and detention of aliens who violate criminal or civil provisions of federal immigration law.

The county sheriff may also assist in the investigation of businesses suspected of employing aliens who violate criminal or civil provisions of federal immigration law.

The bill also clarifies that state and local employees, when providing assistance to federal immigration officials, may assist in the investigation, apprehension, and detention of aliens who violate criminal or civil provisions of federal immigration law.

In addition to Senate Bill 150, Senate Bill 35, sponsored by Sen. Jimmy Stewart (R- Albany), directs the Ohio Attorney General to pursue a memorandum of agreement with the U.S. Attorney General that would give local law enforcement officers the jurisdiction to enforce federal immigration law in the State of Ohio.

SB 35 requires the Ohio Attorney General to designate the appropriate law enforcement officers to be trained, as specified in the memorandum, in the enforcement of the relevant federal immigration laws.

The bill specifies that no law enforcement officer may enforce the federal immigration laws unless that officer has received the requisite training.

Both SB 150 and SB 35 will now move to the Ohio House for further consideration.

Clyde Evans represents Ohio and part of Lawrence County in the Ohio House of Representative’s 87th District. He can be reached at (614) 466-1366 or by writing to Clyde Evans, at 77 S. High St., 13th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215.