ICE’s 287(g) Immigration Enforcement Program Is Not Targeted Primarily at Serious Offenders, New MPI Study Finds
WASHINGTON — The section 287(g) program, which delegates federal immigration enforcement powers to state and local officers in 72 U.S. jurisdictions, is not targeted primarily at serious offenders, a major new analysis of the program finds.
Despite public statements by Obama administration officials that the program is primarily targeted at identifying and removing “dangerous criminals,” Migration Policy Institute (MPI) researchers found that about half of 287(g) activity involves non-citizens (chiefly unauthorized immigrants but also removable legal immigrants) arrested for misdemeanor or traffic offenses.
The MPI report, Delegation and Divergence: A Study of 287(g) State and Local Immigration Enforcement, is based on in-depth, on-site interviews with federal, state and local law enforcement, elected officials, immigrant- and civil-rights groups and others in seven 287(g) jurisdictions (Los Angeles, CA; the state of Colorado; Cobb and Gwinnett counties in metro Atlanta, GA; Frederick County, MD; Las Vegas, NV; and Prince William County, VA). The report also analyzes 2010 data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the seriousness of criminal offenses committed by non-citizens detained through 287(g) activity nationwide; and provides data for each 287(g) jurisdiction.
The report assesses outcomes of the three different 287(g) models – screening of immigration status in jails, by task forces operating in the field and hybrid models that combine jail screening and field operations – as well as program costs and community impacts. It also examines the implementation of the Obama administration’s 2009 formal program changes emphasizing that 287(g) activities should focus first and foremost on non-citizens who have committed felonies and other serious crimes.
Among the report’s top findings: Read the rest of this entry »