California Lawmakers Among Those Calling for End of ICE 287(g) Program Funding

According to a report from Roll Call, several California lawmakers are among the group calling for an end of funding for the so-called ICE 287(g) program in the federal budget for the 2022 fiscal year. The program allows local law enforcement agencies to act as federal immigration officers. In this blog post, our Los Angeles immigration lawyer provides an overview of the ICE 287(g) program.

ICE 287(g) Program: Explained

Through the 287(g) Program, State and Local Police Enforce Immigration Law

The ICE 287(g) program gets its name from the section it falls under in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Essentially, the program allows state police departments and local police departments to work directly with federal immigration authorities, sometimes even themselves enforcing federal immigration laws.

The Federal Government Uses ICE 287(g) Agreements

One of the primary reasons why many state and local police departments are incentivized to engage in the ICE 287(g) program is that the federal government provides funding for operations through something called an ICE 287(g) agreement. There are two basic types of agreements currently being used by the federal government:

  • Jail enforcement agreements; and
  • Warrant service agreements.

Through a jail enforcement agreement, a state or local officer may be deputized to interrogate and place an immigration detainer on a non-citizen. Through a warrant service agreement, a state or local officer may be trained to execute ICE administrative warrants on behalf of the federal government. Notably, departments can enter into hybrid agreements with the agency.

The Argument: ICE 287(g) Undermines Trust and Safety in Our Communities

In 2017, then President Donald Trump signed an executive order that increased the use of the ICE 287(g) program. Since that time, there has been significant backlash over the course and scope of these ICE agreements. The group of more than two dozen Democratic lawmakers who are pushing back against the program contends that it undermines trust and safety in local communities, particularly in communities with a large percentage of immigrants and/or people of color.

Change May Be Coming from the Biden Administration

President Joe Biden selected Ed Gonzalez to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In his previous position, Mr. Gonzalez served as the head of the Sheriff’s Department in Houston, Texas. Notably, during his tenure, Houston actively withdrew from an ICE 287(g) agreement. The city’s police department did so exactly for the reasons raised by the group of progressive lawmakers: the use of local law enforcement to carry out federal immigration enforcement undermines safety and security in the community.

Get Help From Our Los Angeles, CA Immigration Attorneys Today

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are driven to provide the highest level of client service and legal representation to our clients. Contact our firm now for a strictly confidential appointment with an immigration lawyer. Our immigration law firm represents clients in Los Angeles and throughout the surrounding area.