Local Immigration Enforcement

Local Immigration Enforcement
New Research on the 287(g) Program

Center For Immigration Studies
Contact: Jessica Vaughan, (508) 346-3380, jmv@cis.org

WASHINGTON (October 16, 2009) The October 15 deadline for local law enforcement agencies to sign the new 287(g) agreements has been reached. DHS is expected to announce that nearly all the local partners have agreed to continue in the program. A forthcoming report by the Center for Immigration Studies helps explain why: 287(g) has helped reduce immigration-related public safety problems in participating jurisdictions, while significantly contributing to the productivity of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in removing illegal aliens.

The report, The 287(g) Program: Protecting Home Towns and Homeland, includes statistics from ICE and local 287(g) agencies and describes the various types of 287(g) programs and why they are effective.

Authors Jessica Vaughan and James R. Edwards, Jr. also discuss some of the challenges facing the program, such as threats of reduced funding from Congress, opposition from ethnic and civil liberties groups, and efforts by the current administration to impose limits on how local partners can use 287(g). The study will be published next week at www.cis.org; advanced copies are available to the media. Some of the key findings:

287(g) provides a significant boost to ICEs ability to identify and remove aliens who have committed crimes. In 2008, the number of 287(g) arrests (45,368) was equal to one-fifth of all criminal aliens identified by ICE in prisons and jails nationwide (221,085).

287(g) is cost-effective and much less expensive than other criminal alien identification programs such as Secure Communities and Fugitive Operations. For example, in 2008 ICE spent $219 million to remove 34,000 fugitive aliens (who are mostly criminals). In 2008, ICE was given $40 million for 287(g), which produced more than 45,000 arrests of aliens who were involved in state and local crimes.

The biggest obstacle to improving and expanding 287(g) is the lack of funding for bed space to detain illegal aliens who have committed crimes who are discovered by local agencies. Currently ICE is removing fewer than half of the criminal aliens identified under 287(g).

The Center has released several additional publications concerning the 287(g) program:

Memorandum, The Obama Administrations 287(g): An Analysis of the New MOA, by Jon Feere

Webcast, Law Enforcement of Federal Immigration Law and Section 287(g), with Jessica Vaughan

Blog, An Inside Look at Three Sheriffs Departments Using 287(g), by Jessica Vaughan

Blog, DHS Task Force Seeks Weaker 287(g), by Jon Feere

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The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institute that examines the impact of immigration on the United States