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The goal of 287(g) is to enhance public safety by identifying aliens, lodging immigration detainers, and initiating removal proceedings by issuing charging documents on criminal and removable aliens booked into the jail facility.

The 287(g) program, authorized by Congress, allows local law enforcement agencies to participate as an active partner in identifying criminal aliens in custody at their state and local correctional facilities and placing ICE detainers on these individuals. Officers at these facilities screen inmates through the ICE database for immigration violations and notify ICE of any violators. Because all those who are booked in jail are screened, the enforcement is free of cost to the local municipality.

These actions are only taken after an individual is arrested or involved in a crime; in no cases are people taken into custody or detained for the sole purpose of trying to determine their immigration status. The overwhelming majority of illegal aliens deported from the US. interior, roughly 65,000 in 2019, were convicted criminals, while another 13,500 deported illegal aliens had pending criminal charges against them.⠀

Under the 287(g) program, ICE has 77 jail enforcement model agreements in 21 states and 73 warrant service officer model agreements in 11 states.

ICE explains that local jurisdictions are not required to participate in 287(g). They state, “In fact, law enforcement agencies must request to participate in the 287(g) program and enter into a memorandum of agreement that defines the scope, duration and limitations of the delegation of authority. It also sets forth the training requirements, the terms of ICE supervision, and requires the partnering law enforcement agency to follow U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE policies when its designated immigration officers perform delegated immigration enforcement functions.”

This month ICE highlighted two of the most egregious cases where local officials, participating with the 287(g) program, alerted ICE when criminal illegal aliens were processed through their correctional facilities. The first was an Ecuadorian national charged with assault and battery on a pregnant victim and strangulation/suffocation. The second was a Trinidad and Tobago national convicted of capital sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation.

The August report highlighted an additional two actions taken in cases involving significant threats to public safety, the report reads:

Texas – On August 26, 2020, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office 287(g) Program encountered a citizen of Mexico charged with murder/homicide -1st-degree felony and placed an immigration detainer and warrant on the subject. The subject entered the United States on an unknown date and location without inspection.

South Carolina – On August 31, 2020, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office 287(g) Program encountered a citizen of Guatemala charged with kidnapping and sex/criminal sexual conduct with a minor under 11 years old, first degree and placed an immigration detainer and warrant on the subject. The subject last entered the United States on an unknown date and location after having been previously removed. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, the 287(g) program resulted in almost 25,000 law enforcement encounters with aliens in the custody of participating jurisdictions.

For the full release, please visit the Department of Homeland Security website.

Updated: Wed, Oct 7th 2020 @ 2:35pm EDT