The 287(g) program allows local law enforcement officers who have received training from the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to make arrests on immigration-related matters. This specially-trained local and state law enforcement officers typically arrest individuals who are in this country illegally.

Since the program began in 1996, more than 800 officers from 18 states have undergone ICE training. For this training to occur, the local or state law enforcement body must enter into an agreement with Immigrations and Customs which authorizes the local department to make immigration arrests.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is the most active state with 9 participating agencies, while the Maricopa County, Az., Sheriff's Department is the most active agency with over 15,000 arrests.

The ICE budget for this program has swelled to $42 million for the fiscal year 2008, up from $5 million in 2006.

While many law enforcement departments welcome the opportunity to help enforce the nation's immigration laws, some agencies balk at the opportunity with the typical excuses being that 287(g) is too expensive or that enforcing immigration laws is a federal responsibility.

Click here to read a news story about the program and here to view a list of participating agencies.


Updated: Tue, Sep 23rd 2008 @ 2:51pm EDT