This Date in Obama’s Administrative Amnesty: June 26, 2010

On June 26, 2010, President Obama named Harold Hurtt, former police chief of the sanctuary cities of Houston and Phoenix, to oversee the 287(g) Program. 287(g) is a program authorized by the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 that allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enter into agreements with local law enforcement agencies to “deputize” or cross-designate law enforcement officers to act as immigration agents within their jurisdictions. As police chief of Houston, not only did Hurtt actively support the city’s sanctuary policies, but he also was highly critical of the 287(g) program, the very program he was later asked to lead. In 2008, Hurtt said that local police “don’t want to be immigration officers.”

One local police officer, Joslyn Johnson, disagreed. In 2006, Johnson’s husband, Rodney Johnson, another Houston Police officer, was shot four times in the head and killed by a previously deported illegal alien during a routine traffic stop. The illegal alien, Juan Leonardo Quintero, was deported to Mexico in 1999 after being convicted of DWI, failure to stop, and child molestation. He had also been arrested at least three times in Houston since reentering the country but because of the city’s sanctuary policies was still at large in Houston. Joslyn Johnson was outraged by Hurtt’s appointment, believing that his policies put citizens and officers in danger in Houston and should not be extended throughout the country.

Congress also criticized Hurtt’s appointment. Representative Steve King (R-Iowa), said “I don’t know how [Obama] can do that given the record that [Hurtt] has. I think this is another piece in the puzzle to granting some type of de facto amnesty.” This concern proved prescient.

As one would expect from the President’s appointment of an avowed opponent of 287(g) to oversee it, the Administration spent the next several years undoing the program. In February of 2012, the Administration sought to cut $17 million in funding in its proposed budget, describing what was essentially a phase-out of the program. In July of 2012, the Obama Administration rescinded the 287(g) Task Force agreements in Arizona. In September of 2012, it rescinded the program in North Carolina. Finally, just before the holidays in December 2012, the Administration quietly announced in a press release that it would not be renewing any more task force model agreements, which would have allowed local law enforcement officers trained through the program to identify and remove illegal aliens anywhere in their jurisdiction.  That announcement effectively dismantled the 287(g) program, despite the fact that it was duly enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    This president and his Administration is hell-bent on destroying this country from within. We citizens do not have a chance unless this monster is stopped! Yes, it did start in the 60″s but it has progressed so fast in the last ten years that our country will soon be bankrupt.

  2. avatar

    This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. Both sides have failed us – the people. It started in the mid 60s with ‘chain migration’ and now we are at the tipping point with immigration. I include legal immigration and insourcing/outsourcing of jobs as well.

    More than a 100 US hospitals which were located near the southern border (San Diego, etc.) have closed in the past 30 years. This is due to the fact that, as but one example, 70% of newborns born in LA hospitals were to illegal Mexican women, all of whom were on Medi-Cal – government welfare.

    Think about this for a moment: Seven out of every ten newborns in the LA area are to illegals. The numbers are the same in San Diego. This is astounding! And you wonder why hospitals charge $20 for an aspirin?

    How is this not a national crisis? Our Congress lacks the courage to deal or even address this issue. The numbers in all areas of this issue are not sustainable. At this point, the only practical solution (which strangely is never discussed in these posts) is to place severe fines for US employers who hire illegals – and this includes families who hire nannies, gardeners, etc.

    The ‘border’ will never be secure, especially since 65% of all illegals are here due to overstaying their visas. But you don’t hear this from Congress, do you? ‘Strengthening the border’ will not address the millions of illegals who have expired visas – only stiff employer sanctions and fines will do so.

  3. avatar

    Hand Picked Open Border Anarchists

    Lead our immigration law enforcement. Why don’t we just wave the white flag and give up on national border security, in essense we already have?