Continuing (and Expanding) 287g: Why we can’t afford more of the same


Last week, it was announced that the Department of Homeland Security was signing 11 new local law enforcement agencies onto the program known as 287(g). The program grants local law enforcement agents the authority to enforce federal immigration laws. The destructive program cultivates a culture of fear among immigrants and communities of color, pours resources into the rounding up of immigrants instead of the protection of public safety and has been condemned by everyone from independent think-thanks to the Police Foundation.

So why is DHS continuing this failed program? While the announcement was made alongside the pledge of a long overdue “review” of the program, it is a mistake to expand any failed enforcement program in the absence of satisfactory comprehensive immigration legislation.

Let me be clear, this is the program that gives Sheriff Joe “I don’t have to answer to the DOJ” Arpaio the authority to round up Latinos like cattle and ignore his commitment to the actual protection of the public. This is the program under which Juana Villegas de la Paz was shackled to her hospital bed while giving birth to her child. This is the program that was found to “create a climate of racial profiling and insecurity” by a leading national university.

I am disappointed that the announcement of a review of this program was accompanied by an ill-advised expansion. This, more than anything, points to the need for a FULL OVERHAUL of immigration policy. We cannot continue failed programs in the absence of comprehensive reform.

As an editorial in the NY Times today stated:

Enforcement-only schemes were the rage back when anti-immigrant demagogues were in full roar and Bush officials wanted to show how tough they were. They bring us no closer to an immigration system that works. Mr. Obama promised fresh ideas on immigration reform. So far we don’t see them.

One response to “Continuing (and Expanding) 287g: Why we can’t afford more of the same

  1. They are starting this program because the United States of America is a SOVEREIGN country and we have the RIGHT and the DUTY to enforce our borders and protect the American citizens from invasion by a hostile enemy. Those of you that do everything within your power to aid and abet these people into our country in direct violation of the laws of the sovereign country of the U.S.A. will be exposed at some point and indicted on charges of sedition and treason against the people of the United States and the U.S. Government. And yes in case you are wondering, Americans are fed up with this invasion that has been “allowed” to happen by legions of traitors in our own country and by the traitorous Mexican government who is directly behind the invasion.

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