Harford County deputies will be working to help the feds catch undocumented criminals.
Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler said the deputies will start screening the immigration status for those who have been arrested.
Those deputies will be specially trained, looking in particular for violent offenders who aren't U.S. citizens. The new initiative, 287-G, is a federal partnership with Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE.
"It allows us, the 287-G program, to train deputies to work hand in hand with that organization and inmates are brought in, as prisoners are brought in to the detention center they will be screened," Gahler said.
Deputies will be specially trained by ICE to conduct the screenings.
"The rationale is the people that are in the country illegally are committing a crime," he said.
The partnership provides deputies with the tools and authority to enforce immigration laws and ensure individuals who commit crimes while in the U.S. illegally are turned over to federal authorities once they fulfill their obligation to the state of Maryland.
"This is one just small additional step to see if they're in the country legally after that's determined they are prioritized by immigration and customs enforcement," Gahler said.
One major point to highlight is that this enforcement does not target how officers patrol, it's solely for those arrested.
Harford County officials hope to begin the screenings in the spring.