Leggett Plans To Fight Feds Over Illegal-Immigration Program

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett says he would pursue legal action against the Obama administration if the federal government forces Montgomery to implement a deportation program for violent illegal immigrants.

The federal government is requiring all local jurisdictions to comply with the Secure Communities program by 2013, with Montgomery joining as soon as September, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The program requires local detention centers to send inmates' fingerprints to a national database that helps federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement identify and deport illegal immigrants.

"I'm opposed to it," Leggett told The Washington Examiner on Tuesday. "The problem for us now -- the challenge is -- what kind of legal authority we have if they decide that's what they want to do."

Leggett said ICE has not contacted his office regarding a deadline for implementation. If the agency does, he will begin exploring legal options to fight the program, such as an appeal, "if one is available," he said.

"I just don't think what the federal government is doing is in our best interest," he said, defending the county's current system for identifying violent illegals.

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