287(g) Program Should Be Ended, Not Mended

For Immediate Release

287(g) Program Should Be Ended, Not Mended

New Agreements Are More of the Same

LOS ANGELES - Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it plans enter into new Memorandums of Agreement  with 67 local law enforcement agencies as part of the 287(g) Program, although only 55 have been finalized.

Last week, DHS released a report
on detention conditions
and announced its intention to limit subcontracting of immigration detention responsibility.   The same report noted that the vast majority of
immigrants processed through 287(g) programs were never charged with a criminal offense at all (see page 13).  

On August 25, Over 500 civil rights organizations implored
President Obama to end the flawed 287(g) program
.  On September 28, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent a strongly worded letter
to the President calling for complete termination of the 287(g) program.    Earlier this week, the New
York Times published an editorial
urging the same.

The following is a statement by Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director, of the the National Day Laborer Organizing Network in reaction to today's announcement: 

"We
were stunned to see Joe Arpaio is on the list of partner agencies.  
The country needs federal immigration reform, not a handful of
agreements with demagogue sheriffs in the South with a track record of
scapegoating immigrants.    Today's announcement takes us in the
exact opposite direction we need to be heading to achieve comprehensive
immigration reform.

"Secretary Napolitano's enforcement policies are incoherent.  Last week, DHS said immigration enforcement is civil matter that should not be subcontracted or delegated.   The very report used to draw that conclusion noted alarming statistics about how the 287(g) program has been used to date.

"If
the 287(g) program actually improves public safety, as Assistant
Secretary Morton suggests, then why didn't more police departments sign
up?  The real story is not the handful of agencies that signed, but the vast majority of police departments that said, ‘no thanks."

"In
the end of the day, it doesn't really matter how many 287g agreements
are signed, or what modifications the programs goes through if  the
suffering of families continues in our communities.  To us, nothing has
changed.  We know first hand what it is like when local sheriff
deputies or police officers are given the authority- whether in jail or
in the streets-  to enforce immigration laws: it is a recipe for racial
profiling.

Finally, it is hard to believe that Joe Arpaio is retaining any contract with the federal government at all.  For
the last two weeks, he announced on national television his intent to
"fool" DHS by stating several times that 'nothing has changed.'    Even Glenn Beck was shocked when Arpaio stated his intention to use the agreements to continue racial profiling."

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