The Section 287(g) Program is run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and allows state and local law enforcement personnel to work in partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify and deport illegal aliens who commit serious crimes, rather than release them back into our communities after they have served their sentences. Participating agencies receive free training from the Federal Government after which officers work under the supervision of an ICE agent to identify illegal aliens and begin the deportation process. The program is in place in the Town of Herndon Police Department, the Prince William County Adult Detention Center, the City of Manassas Police Department, the Loudoun Adult Detention Center, and the Sheriff's Departments in Rockingham and Shenandoah Counties where thousands of illegal aliens who would have previously been released have instead been turned over to ICE for deportation.
This program provides dramatic benefits, as the following items demonstrate:
- Prince William County began the deportation process on over 500 illegal aliens during it's first six months in the program, a ten-fold increase over previous informal arrangements. Felons deported include gang participants, rapists, child abusers, identity thieves and chronic drunken drivers. Over 20% of the inmates in the Prince William County Adult Detention Center have been identified as illegal aliens, few which would have previously been spotted.
- Charlotte, NC saw DUI-related arrests of Hispanic persons decrease by 63 percent one year after participating in the Section 287(g) Program (ref).
- 287 (g) trained Alabama state troopers, working with motor vehicle licensing stations throughout the state, check the immigration status of all foreign nationals applying for driver's licenses. The partnership training from ICE enabled these troopers to identify 27 individuals who were later convicted of federal charges after using fraudulent documents in an attempt to obtain Alabama driver's licenses. In addition, 13 of these individuals were convicted of state charges including narcotics violations and possession of forged instruments.(ref)
- In San Bernadino County, county corrections officers participating in the Section 287(g) Program have interviewed more than 4,200 suspected illegal immigrants over an eighteen month period and have placed immigration holds on just over half of them.(ref)
- In November 2005, the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) began processing alien inmates at their Intake Center as part of the 287(G) program. By processing aliens who met the criteria for early release and turning them over to ICE for removal, the ADC has realized a cost savings of $2,985,655 and a savings of 53,135 bed days.(ref)
Virginia needs the Section 287(g) Program
Virginia could benefit tremendously from participating in this program which would not only save the Commonwealth and it's localities money, but significantly improve public safety. There are several ways in which Virginia could benefit:
- The state Department of Corrections should process all persons entering state detention facilities to identify and place immigration detainers on all illegal alien criminals.
- The state police should have have officers participating in task forces and special units trained under the 287(g) Program to identify and deport criminal alien suspects who pose a significant potential danger to our communities.
- Officials at the Department of Motor Vehicles should screen all persons caught attempting identity fraud while applying for Drivers Licenses using this program and process for deportation any illegal aliens.
- The state should require that all persons being taken into custody in any locality are screened by trained officers and put on an immigration detainer if determined to be an illegal alien.
What you can do
Please contact your elected officials and tell them that you want legislation passed that would take advantage of this important program. Our Take Action" page regularly has action items that relate to this program.
For more information regarding this important federal program, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.