Donald A. Promnitz/The Madera Tribune
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims discusses her work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) in the Fresno County Jail at the Madera Republican Women Federated's first monthly meeting of 2017. Mim's cooperation with I.C.E. has led to the deportation of more than 300 illegal immigrants so far.
I.C.E. has been sent to jail in Fresno County, and the results have been good.
So said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims in an address before Madera Republican Women Federated Jan. 26 at the Madera Municipal Golf Course banquet hall.
Mims was the guest speaker, and discussed her cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) in deporting illegal immigrants arrested in Fresno County.
“I had seen an article … and it was about Sheriff Mims,” said Madera Republican Women’s president Janelle Seibert. “And (the author) was saying how she had just deported 300 illegal felons, so I thought, “you know? That would be interesting to hear about.”
Last year, Mims began allowing I.C.E. into the Fresno County Jail to check for illegal immigrants. This action on her behalf has led to the hundreds of deportations. This action was a response to illegal immigrants being released from the jail on a regular basis.
“So what we started doing was putting I.C.E. in our jail,” Mims said. “And since March of 2015, more than 300 — some 328 — have been taken into custody by I.C.E.”
According to Mims, this action has come with the price of criticism and protest by immigration advocates. In addition to demonstrators at Fresno County Jail, Mims said, people have even come to protest outside her home.
“I was on my way to a family baby shower, of all things, until my husband said, ‘there’s people marching up and down the street in front of our house,’” Mims said. “And I live out in the country, and I knew I didn’t dare leave my home, with my husband there with those protestors, because it would’ve turned out really bad.”
Mims nonetheless stood by her work with I.C.E., saying that the crimes of those deported ranged from drug offenses, to assault and kidnapping. She also expressed support for having other countries take back people who have committed crimes in the United States, citing the shooting of two correctional officers in Fresno by a Laotian immigrant last September.
During her speech, Mims also stated her support for President Trump’s efforts to secure the border with Mexico, but also admitted that she does not agree with mass deportations, wishing instead to see immigration reform.
“I do not believe that we should deport 12 million people. I do not believe that. I believe that, especially here in the Central Valley, we have the need for some of our migrant population.”
After her speech, Mims remained at the podium to take questions from those in attendance.