Hearing Reveals Out-of-Whack Enforcement Policies

Human Rights

Washington, D.C. -- Today, the House Committee on Homeland Security is holding a hearing to examine the 287g agreements, the federal/local agreements that allow local police to enforce federal civil immigration law.

Recent reports, including a Government Accountability Office report released today, have called attention to the program's lack of federal oversight and how the program is being implemented at the local level. The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a nonpartisan pro-immigrant advocacy organization in Washington.

The facts are piling up that 287g agreements are expensive to implement, both in terms of dollars, and in community trust. As newly released independent and government reports expose, implementation of the 287g agreement by 67 local and state law enforcement agencies has been devoid of appropriate federal oversight, resulting in excessive use of force, civil rights abuses and costly lawsuits.

Efforts to combine civil immigration and criminal law enforcement distract local police from their duty to protect communities. Rather than following the original intent of the agreement and focusing on dangerous criminals, most jurisdictions with 287(g) agreements waste valuable resources chasing immigrant workers and family members, minor traffic offenders and others who don’t pose a threat to our country.

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