NIJC and the ACLU alongside five other national immigration organizations sent a letter today to DHS Secretary Mayorkas expressing serious concern that over two years into the Biden administration, DHS has failed to take meaningful steps to roll back the 287(g) program. The program enables local law enforcement officials to assist in immigration detentions and deportations.
The 287(g) program has a well-documented track record of leading to racial profiling and hostility toward Black and Brown immigrant communities. A recent ACLU report found that at least 65% of 287(g) participating agencies have records of a pattern of racial profiling and other civil rights violations, including excessive use of force; and at least 77% of participating sheriffs and state departments of corrections commissioners are running detention facilities with serious and extensive records of inhumane conditions.
The 287(g) program served as a cornerstone of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda. The former administration recruited dozens of anti-immigrant sheriffs and grew the program to five times its size. President Biden promised on the campaign trail to terminate all 287(g) agreements entered into under the Trump administration. The president recognized that when state and local law enforcement agents act as federal immigration agents, they “undermine trust and cooperation between local law enforcement and the communities they are charged to protect.” Yet, two years later, the program remains nearly entirely intact.
Today’s call to terminate 287(g) agreements has been echoed over the past two years by over 60 members of Congress on two occasions, by 25 faith-based organizations, over 160 immigration and civil rights groups, and a group of 120 law enforcement professionals from around the country.
The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers’ Guild, United We Dream, American Immigration Council, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center joined NIJC and ACLU in urging the Biden administration to follow through on this broken promise.