Despite the recurring defiance from pro-sanctuary law enforcement officials, some law enforcement departments have stepped up to protect their neighborhoods from criminal aliens alongside U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Many of their agencies have partnered with ICE by opting to join the 287(g) program, which allows local and state law enforcement officers to assist with immigration enforcement. Under this initiative, selected peace officers receive specialized training and the authority to serve administrative warrants and immigration detainers. Agencies are permitted to detain aliens in their jails for up to 48 hours until ICE agents arrive to take custody.
Between 2017 and 2021, the number of participating law enforcement departments increased from 36 to 149, yielding significant progress in keeping Americans safe. ICE announced the results of these alliances for Fiscal Year 2020. Immigration authorities were able to apprehend aliens convicted of the following offenses:
- 1,261 for dangerous drugs;
- 920 for convicted for assault;
- 377 for obstructing police;
- 190 for weapons offenses;
- 104 for sex offenses/assaults, and
- 37 for homicide.
Permitting local and state agencies to expand their role in immigration enforcement has made their communities safer from the threat posed by removable criminal aliens. Additionally, conducting arrests at these regional facilities is safer for immigration agents, as the alien has been screened for weapons.
According to ICE, an overwhelming majority of 287(g) participants have shown their support for the initiative. However, not all law enforcement executives share the same priorities as their pro-enforcement counterparts. Pro-illegal alien sheriffs in North Carolina and Georgia abruptly ended the 287(g) contracts in their respective departments once they took office. These same officials made false claims of discrimination associated with the program. Subsequently, the diminished cooperation with ICE has led to the release of criminal aliens back into the public in these jurisdictions.
The incoming Biden administration has vowed to drastically reduce the use of the 287(g) program. Scaling back a vital tool that empowers immigration enforcement would jeopardize communities across the United States by allowing criminal aliens back into the very neighborhoods where they already committed crimes. To cast aside this program would only lead to additional avoidable crimes that harm Americans.