WASHINGTON—Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton announced standardized Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) with 67 state and local law enforcement agencies to participate in 287(g) partnerships—improving public safety by prioritizing criminal aliens who are a threat to local communities, ensuring consistent and uniform policies and providing a force multiplier for ICE’s immigration enforcement efforts across the country.
“Coordinating with our state and local partners is important to smart and effective enforcement of our immigration laws,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. “These new agreements promote public safety by prioritizing the identification and removal of dangerous criminal aliens and ensure consistency and stronger federal oversight of state and local immigration law enforcement efforts across the nation. The rules set forth in these agreements will enhance our efforts to work together effectively with our local partners.”
“These new partnerships are an essential tool for law enforcement to identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens from local communities,” said Assistant Secretary Morton. “Standardizing these agreements allows us to better use the resources and capabilities of our law enforcement partners, facilitates accountability and ensures that all participating jurisdictions are following uniform standards throughout the country.”
The state and local law enforcement partnerships announced today conform to the standardized 287(g) MOA announced by Secretary Janet Napolitano and Assistant Secretary Morton in July—strengthening ICE’s overall immigration enforcement strategy by aligning local operations with ICE’s major priorities, specifically the identification and removal of criminal aliens.
The 287(g) program acts as a force multiplier, training officers from local jurisdictions to carry out smart, effective immigration enforcement efforts aligned with ICE priorities. Throughout the country, 1,075 local officers have been trained through 287(g)—bolstering national immigration enforcement efforts and saving hundreds of millions of dollars.
From January 2009 to date, 287(g)-trained local officers are credited with the removal of approximately 24,000 aliens nationwide and have identified 48 percent more criminal aliens than during the same period in 2008.
The new partnerships include the Jail Model, in which local law enforcement agencies designate Jail Enforcement Officers to identify aliens already incarcerated within their detention facilities who are eligible for removal, as well as the Federal Task Force Model, in which agencies designate officers to work with Federal agents in locating, processing and removing criminal aliens from the United States.
The agreements announced today fall into four categories:
Ø 55 agreements have been signed by ICE and the partnering agency;
Ø 12 agreements have been reached and await approval by the local jurisdiction’s supervisory authority; and
Ø Six agreements have negotiations underway.
Ø Six jurisdictions did not re-sign the new 287(g) agreement or withdrew during negotiations for a variety of reasons, including implementation of the Secure Communities program, budgetary constraints and limited program utilization.
The new MOA clearly defines the objectives of the 287(g) program, outlines the immigration enforcement authorities granted by the agreement and provides guidelines for ICE’s supervision of local agency officer operations—including information reporting and tracking, complaint procedures, and implementation measures.
To address concerns that individuals may be arrested for minor offenses as a guise to initiate removal proceedings, the new agreement requires participating local law enforcement agencies to pursue all criminal charges that originally caused the offender to be taken into custody.
The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA) of 1996 added Section 287(g) to the Immigration and Nationality Act, which authorizes the DHS Secretary to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies to perform immigration officer functions. Pursuant to these agreements, designated officers who receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of sworn ICE officers are permitted to perform immigration law enforcement duties.
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