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Friday, July 19, 2013

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will present the 2013 Partnership for Public Safety Award at 10:45 a.m. on Friday, July 19 to Lexington County Detention Center Designated Immigration Officer Kevin Farley, who enforces federal immigration laws at the Detention Center under ICE’s supervision. The award will be presented in the Squad Room at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said Farley, 59, of Irmo, will be honored for going above his normal duties to support and contribute to ICE’s mission. Farley is one of only three recipients nationally of the Partnership for Public Safety Award, and Farley is the only correctional officer who will receive the award from ICE. On February 25, 2008, Metts appointed Farley to serve as a correctional officer at the Detention Center.

In 2010, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department signed an agreement with ICE to enforce federal immigration laws at the Detention Center under ICE’s supervision, Metts said. ICE provided training for Farley and four other correctional officers who enforce immigration laws at the Detention Center as part of the Section 287(g) Immigration Authority Delegation Program. ICE pays the Sheriff’s Department to house inmates who are in ICE’s custody at the Detention Center.

“We are working to enhance the quality of life in our community through the 287(g) program by removing criminals who illegally entered the United States from a foreign country,” Metts said. “In addition, we are reducing the number of inmates who are housed at the Detention Center, which saves taxpayers money.”

Since January 2012, designated immigration officers at the Detention Center have interviewed 2,145 foreign-born detainees who were arrested for crimes committed in Lexington County, according to ICE. ICE placed detainers on 1,185 of the 2,145 foreign-born detainees, based on their immigration status as determined by designated immigration officers at the Detention Center.

Since January 2012, ICE placed detainers on 335 foreign-born detainees at the Detention Center who were convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude, such as burglary, according to ICE. ICE placed detainers on 100 foreign-born detainees at the Detention Center who illegally re-entered the United States from a foreign country after previously being deported by ICE.

The Sheriff’s Department signed a 287(g) Memorandum of Agreement with ICE that enables specially trained correctional officers to enforce federal immigration laws under ICE’s supervision at the Detention Center, Metts said. The Memorandum of Agreement is authorized through section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. That section enables officers to legally identify criminal and illegal aliens whom they might encounter and initiate removal proceedings for persons who are found to be in the United States illegally.

Farley and the four other specially trained correctional officers are authorized by ICE to check the immigration statuses of all inmates who are housed at the Detention Center, Metts said. Correctional officers detain inmates, pending further action by ICE, when the officers determine that the inmates also violated federal immigration law.

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