Congress created 287g in 1996 as program to enhance the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies and federal immigration services. In an effort to pander to the Latino organizations that helped propel Obama into the White House, the reigns of 287(g) rules are being pulled back.
Despite unsubstantiated criticism from civil liberty groups, 287(g) remains an effective piece of legislation assisting local law enforcement with illegal immigration crime-fighting tools.
Protecting the homeland remains a top priority for many federal and local agencies and like many arms of law enforcement many tweaks have been implemented along the way.
According to Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) more than 81,000 immigration arrests were made by 287(g) officers during January 2006 and November 2008.
This program is responsible for flagging a large number of known serious/violent offenders, ICE reports the number in 2008 was more than 45,000.
While most agencies that use 287(g) mainly identify and process illegal aliens who have committed additional crimes, Congress has never intended the program to be limited to that use alone, according to Center for Immigration Studies.
“Participating agencies credit the 287(g) program as a major factor in reduced local crime rates, smaller inmate populations and lower criminal justice costs,” CIS stated.
CIS also dispels the myth that 287(g) causes racial profiling, discrimination or other abuse of authority.
Due to the program’s success, the federal government currently has a one to three year waiting list for local law enforcement agencies to obtain their 287(g) status and training. However, the Department of Homeland Security has rejected dozens of applications due to federal funding shortfalls in the last few years.
Recently there were 54 Democrat and Republican members of Congress who sent a letter to President Obama expressing their support of 287(g). The letter came just days after the Obama Administration implemented limits on state and local law enforcement agencies.
“Thanks to the 287(g) program, thousands of illegal immigrants that are identified in jails and through task force operations are being identified and deported,” explains Rep. Lamar Smith-R TX. “The open borders crowd doesn’t like the 287(g) program because it is working – thousands of illegal immigrants are being identified.”
“Local law enforcement agencies deserve our thanks for helping to remove illegal immigrants from our communities before they threaten American lives and property,” Smith said. “The Obama administration should not limit local agencies’ ability to help enforce our nation’s laws.”
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