The LIRS headquarters where I work is not far from Prince William County, Virginia, an area that is also in Congress’s backyard. Unfortunately, the county is also a place where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is continuing parts of its flawed 287(g) immigration enforcement program.
In October 2012, ICE notified the county that its agreement to participate in the 287(g) program was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012. Across the country, other communities received similar news that the future of their participation in the 287(g) program was in question, with a decision due by the end of 2012.
You may recall a recent post where I outlined our opposition to this harmful program, which authorizes police officers to act as immigration agents both in jails and out in the community. I had hoped ICE would take advantage of this opportunity to end the 287(g) program nationwide.
Regrettably, ICE finally announced on December 21 that it would extend the program in Prince William County’s jail for six more months. ICE also granted the same short extension to 38 other communities operating the program in their jails. However, ICE announced they would be terminating all 287(g) programs functioning out in communities (also known as “287(g) task forces”), retaining only the jail-based models.
While I’m encouraged that ICE ended one portion of this harmful program, the concerns about 287(g) continue. Many thanks to all of you who used LIRS’s Action Center to tell ICE to end these misguided agreements. In these State Action Alerts, which appear every Thursday, I’ll keep you informed of future advocacy opportunities until we succeed in ending the entire 287(g) program.