Georgia's fourth largest and fastest growing county is looking to join forces with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to help enforce immigration laws. The county applied back in March for the 287(g) program and is still awaiting approval from ICE.

The 287(g) program teams up federal officials with local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws. The program provides local municipalities with money and resources to help the national enforcement effort. There are currently 63 law enforcement agencies nationwide participating in the program.

The program provides training of local law enforcement officials in the screening of foreign-born inmates, determining if they are in the country legally and starting deportation paperwork. Another Atlanta-area county, Cobb County, runs the program and has transferred more than 2,700 inmates to federal agents for deportation.

According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Gwinnett county expects to book 13,000 foreign-born inmates in 2008, which could lead to 4,000-6,000 deportations. Gwinnett County is still awaiting approval, which could take up to a year.

Cherokee County in Georgia has also recently applied for the program and is awaiting response from ICE. The county has arrested 1,477 non-U.S. citizens so far in 2008 and 45 had ICE holds.

More information on Gwinnett County can be found at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's website.

More information on Cherokee County can be found at the Cherokee Ledger News.

Updated: Wed, Dec 3rd 2008 @ 2:59pm EST