Jailings Of Illegal Aliens On Rise

NEWARK, OHIO — The Hispanic and Latino populations are having a visible impact on Licking County — a trip to any grocery store with their preponderance of Hispanic products and dual-language labeling is proof of that.

But with legal, legitimate Hispanic immigrants also come illegal aliens, and the county is seeing more every year.

In 2004, the Licking County jail detained 28 illegal aliens, with the vast majority of those coming from Mexico. So far in 2005, 17 have been detained.

Those detentions often aren’t from illegal alien roundups, but from regular criminal activity. If during the course of the investigation it is determined an inmate is an illegal alien, he or she is handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which initiates any possible deportation proceedings.

Jail Capt. Pat Claprood said the number of illegal aliens going through his facility is on the rise.

“It seems like we get more and more every year,” he said.

Carlos Suarez and Daniel Rodrigues currently sit in the jail facing rape charges. Three others are still at large for the incident. Regardless of the outcome of their rape proceedings, both face deportation for illegal residency.

In late 2003, three illegal aliens died in Pataskala of carbon monoxide poisoning while working at a construction site.

However, the increasing presence of undocumented Hispanics and Latinos has not reached a point of concern for law enforcement.

“I know that it happens,” Sheriff Randy Thorp said. “I don’t know that it’s a source of concern. On the surface, I haven’t noticed any problems or any significant increase. I have not seen any negative impact.”

A study released by the Pew Research Center in March estimates the nationwide illegal alien population at 11 million, with more than 6 million of those from Mexico.

In the 2003 fiscal year, more than 1 million deportable aliens from Hispanic and Latino countries were located by federal officials.

With an increasing Spanish-speaking population, the language barrier becomes an issue of concern in certain areas.
Advocate Reporter

Courts, with their complex legal jargon and carefully selected words, must employ translators if a defendant does not understand English.

Assistant County Prosecutor Kenneth Oswalt said that in those cases the court employs an interpreter, who is required to provide a literal translation of the proceedings.

While not terribly common, the courts are prepared for such situations.

“Interpreters aren’t that difficult to find, especially for something like Spanish,” Oswalt said.

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