WASHINGTON —A report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on the performance of 287(g) agreements should prompt the termination of this deeply and persistently flawed program. This is the second report on the 287(g) program by the DHS OIG this year. A report released in March included 33 recommendations from the OIG to improve the program. The 287(g) program authorizes local police to enforce federal immigration laws.
The OIG report exposed the lack of general oversight of the program including weak management controls that fail to verify that funds given to ICE by Congress are being used as required. In addition, the report found inadequate training and supervising of 287(g) officers and the lack of processes to know if the 287(g) program is adhering to the stated goal of prioritizing the removal of dangerous noncitizens.
“The Inspector General report’s paints – for the second time – a picture of a failed program,” said Brittney Nystrom, Director of Policy and Legal Affairs for the National Immigration Forum. “Despite clear recommendations by the Inspector General to strengthen management controls and improve oversight of 287(g) operations, this latest report underlines the same problems,” said Nystrom.
In March, the Inspector General made 33 recommendations for the 287(g) program. 28 of these recommendations remain open. Now a second report has identified even more reasons to be concerned. There is little connection between the way the 287(g) operates and ICE’s stated goals for the program. ICE cannot verify that funds it received from Congress are used as intended. ICE has no clear process to verify accuracy of the data the 287(g) program relies on.
“In addition to the problems found by the OIG in 287(g)’s design and management, the National Immigration Forum remains concerned that the program disrupts community trust and relationships with law enforcement officials and undermines public safety,” added Nystrom. “This growing schism between community members and police makes it harder for police officers to do their jobs, and enables crime to flourish.”
“Once again, the Inspector General shows that the 287(g) program is fundamentally flawed. It is a program run amok. Rather than continuing to seek funding and redemption for this clunker of a program, ICE should terminate it.”