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News Opinion

Frederick deputies enforced a federal warrant, not immigration law

The premise of the lead anecdote in Sirine Shebaya's op-ed ("Local police, federal law," Dec. 11) is incorrect. The deputies who questioned the referenced Hispanic woman were not acting, and did not purport to act, pursuant to the Section 287(g) immigration enforcement provisions. The two deputies who were involved in fact knew nothing about Section 287(g).

They were simply on routine patrol when they spotted the woman eating a sandwich next to a container storage pod behind a building. When they slowed their vehicle, she jumped up and ducked behind the container. The deputies conducted a routine investigatory stop to ascertain her identity and business. She produced identification papers from another country, which the deputies used to confirm the spelling of her name and her date of birth with dispatch. Once the dispatcher advised the deputies that there was a federal immigration warrant for her arrest, she was arrested by the deputies and then turned over to the federal authorities.

The woman at issue filed suit in federal court claiming a violation of her federal constitutional rights. The federal court found that the detention and arrest were proper and dismissed the case, which is now on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The incident at issue had absolutely nothing to do with enforcement of federal immigration law by local officials, and the op-ed is therefore seriously misleading.

Daniel Karp, Baltimore

The writer, an attorney, represents Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins and the deputies in the referenced litigation.

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