A new report on the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) program found ties to racism, abuse, and violence.
This program expanded fivefold under the Trump administration and has continued to grow under the Biden administration. We must work together to end it.
ABOUT THE REPORT
License to Abuse is the first in-depth and comprehensive review of the character and conduct of local 287(g) partners, primarily county sheriffs, both under the Biden administration and previous administrations.
Researchers examined the 142 state and local law enforcement agencies, including sheriff’s offices and departments of corrections, participating in the 287(g) program and highlighted 54 agencies that have violated civil rights and liberties. The Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office was among the 54 agencies named.
Here’s what stood out in the report:
- At least 59% of participating sheriffs have records of anti-immigrant, xenophobic rhetoric, contributing to a continued climate of fear for immigrants and their families and undermining the administration’s racial equity, accountability and anti-discrimination commitments.
- At least 55% of sheriffs involved in the program have made statements advocating for inhumane immigration and border enforcement policies and promoting the misinformation and false claims on which they are based. In some cases, these sheriffs are actively seeking to defy federal authority in order to preserve the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant, anti-human rights legacy.
- At least 65% of 287(g) participating agencies have records of a pattern of racial profiling and other civil rights violations, including excessive use of force.
- At least 77% of participating sheriffs, local jail authorities, and state department of corrections’ commissioners are running detention facilities with serious and extensive records of inhumane conditions, implicating the 287(g) program because when the federal government partners with these jails and prisons it tacitly sanctions these conditions.
For years, immigrant rights advocates have made public the serious concerns about the racial profiling and civil rights abuses enabled by 287(g) contracts. This program has unfortunately become a megaphone for racist and xenophobic rhetoric by sheriffs’ offices and other law enforcement agencies.
These agreements create a culture of division and suspicion that doesn’t serve anyone – least of all the community these departments are supposed to protect.
By not ending the program entirely, efforts to repair the harm inflicted by the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda as well as promises to hold law enforcement accountable for violating the law are being undermined.
Tell the Biden administration: End the 287(g) program now!