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This page last updated 12-02-2009

The 287g program has been changing even more in 2009.  The 287g program of 2010 will be quite different than the program has been in the past few years.  New programs that are basically sections and abilities available from the original 287g are easier for communities to adopt and it can be done without a restricting MOU from the Obama administration.  For now, we need to look at these ICE Programs (indexed) and the ICE ACCESS Program and use as many as we can.


Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), effective September 30, 1996, added Section 287(g), performance of immigration officer functions by state officers and employees, to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This authorizes the secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, pursuant to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of sworn U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.


Some things to note when reading these documents:

  • Section 287(a)(1), 8 U.S.C. Sec. 1357(a)(1):
    "(a) Powers without warrant.
    Any officer or employee of the Service authorized under regulations prescribed by the Attorney General shall have power without warrant -
    (1) to interrogate any alien or person believed to be an alien as to his right to be or to remain in the United States..."
  • It noted that "section 287(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. Sec. 1357(a)(2)] authorizes any agent of the Service to arrest any alien in the United States if he has reason to believe that the alien so arrested is in the United States in violation of law or regulation and is likely to escape before a warrant can be obtained."
  • At the time of this writing (June 2009), there are only three agencies that have signed up for 287g training.  Only one has a Field Trained Officer and the other two have or will have a Jail Trained Office.  The examples on this page are from law enforcement agencies from other States that have been involved with the 287g program within the last 2 or 3 years.  Many new agencies have joined the program in the last 2 years.  Participants have cited reduction in Crime and removal of repeat offenders. Public Safety and quality of community life have improved as a result.
  • Much of the information on this page could be generalized as part of the established programs under the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) umbrella program.  ICE ACCESS contains programs like "Secure Communities", "Criminal Alien Program (CAP)", "Delegation of Immigration Authority (aka 287g)", "Operation Community Shield", and "Operation Predator".  All are good programs. See the descriptions of the ICE ACCESS Programs.


Table of Contents

287(g) Information:



Case Study: Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, Charlotte, North Carolina


Articles of Interest:

  • Prominent arrests shine spotlight on 287(g) program (07-28-2008)
  • Lake Co. program leads to 260 deportation cases (02-24-2009): "Curran said CAP is different from the ICE 287g program he has also applied to be a part of, because unlike 287g, his employees do not receive power to do any functions usually performed by ICE agents."
  • 287g Slide Show overview by the ACLU of NC (05-13-2009) - A quick Overview of the 287g program.  It's the ACLU so you know what to expect...
  • Federal/Local 287(g) Partnerships Work (08-19-2008):  "287(g) program .... is a fast-growing success."
  • Report that Questions Immigration Program (03-04-2009): another biased piece from the New York Times refers to a report written by the GAO.  The report (or the report with my comments) is repetitive and could have been more forthcoming on where and how they got their reference data.
         You have to really read this whole report to get the summarized collection data.  They Interviewed officials from 29 state and local law enforcement agencies that had entered into agreements with ICE as of September 1, 2007. Six of these agencies reported that they had not yet begun implementing the program.   Interviews conducted from October 2007 through February 2008 then published January 2009.  The report by Richard Stana is very repetitive but Appendix 5 is the meat of this whole GAO report.
         The key is in Appendix 5 (page 43) where Jerald E. Levine (Director of Departmental GAO/OIG Liaison Office) addresses the five recommendations and he says  287g is working See the report with my comments where Jerald Levine (the Director of the department) wrote his response to Mr. Stana. Note that he says, "the program itself is working." and then he gives statistics to back it. Participating agencies Cited reduction in Crime and removal of repeat offenders. Public Safety and quality of community life have improved as a result.
    • NOTE:  I have written and requested the answers to the questions asked in Appendix 3 from the 29 agencies.  However, you can see from the above articles and case studies that there are positive results with the agencies using 287g training and authority that is delegated with it.
  • 287g UPDATE – New Standardized MOU:(07-10-2009) :  Basically, the Law has not changed but the 287g program has been modified. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano (appointed by Obama), is suspending all current Memos Of Understanding (MOU) for those departments that are 287g trained and having them re-sign a new standardized MOU. They added 11 NEW agencies with the standardized MOU.  Since they are not releasing the MOU at this time, I do not know exactly what it says but basically they cannot start deportation proceeding unless they have committed a serious crime.
        AZ, NC, VA, FL have the largest number of 287g trained officers and they were deporting when they came across Illegal Aliens during their course of work (traffic stops, etc...). They were just enforcing the law! Apparently, the Obama administration does not want them enforcing the law.
         We will have to see what this new MOU will bring. Maybe it will not be worth it for Lewisville to seek 287g as I have been wanting. It seems like a super CAP program from what I am reading.  It is a LITTLE step in the wrong direction for the 287g program but not something that stops everything. I am still interested in the 287g program but we really need to see what restrictions Napolitano has added.  The ACLU says changes are minimal.
         Again, I think this is a wait a see what happens at this point. I think the opponents to 287g have a major victory and this was a major hurdle to Obama's Amnesty plans. Oh well, we can continue to do what we can do.  The 287g program still looks like the next step.

     - John Gorena
    See the articles:

    • Secretary Napolitano Announces New Agreement for State and Local Immigration Enforcement Partnerships & Adds 11 New Agreements: From the DHS website online (07-10-2009) or the PDF version
    • Sen. Grassley says, New 287(g) Policies Hamper Local Law Enforcement Ability to Apprehend Illegal Aliens (see PDF version)
    • New Curbs Set on Arrests of Illegal Immigrants (07-11-2009):  Revamped 287g Program Will Target Only Serious Crimes, not Minor Infractions; Sheriff Arpaio Refuses to Ease Up:  Wall Street Journal Online 07-11-2009  or the PDF version
      (See the comments tab on the online version)
    • Homeland unveils immigration enforcement plan:  The Washington Post (07-10-2009) or the PDF Version.
    • ACLU: 287g Changes Minimal (07-17-2009)
      - The new MOU also tries to restrict the release of information about the program to the public, and states that any documents generated as a result of the partnership "shall not be considered public records." But I noticed that the ACLU released it. Chron.com article (07-10-2009) or the PDF Version.
  • 07-24-2009:  Houston joins in... See related information...
  • 11-11-2009Here is a very interesting 7 page paper. "Dallas Would-Be Bomber Hosam Smadi: The Case for 287(g) and Exit Tracking" By Janice Kephart (Director of National Security Policy at the Center for Immigration Studies). Also read the endnotes at CIS website version or PDF copy.

  • 02-13-2012: Obama Administration wants to cut finding for 287g program:
          The Obama administration is proposing to cut the measly $17 million for training for next year's 287g budget....  Cutting funding to train new officers for this program.  It is a law that is on the books.  It is still a law.  It is not done away with regardless of what the liberals are saying.  But there may or may not be any new trained 287g officers.  No one really knows for sure at this time but most likely things are going to be at a standstill until we get a president that wants to enforce immigration laws.  The decision to cut the funding is up to Congress..  Contact your representatives to support 287g.

    • Read the article from CIS
    • On a personal note:  Lewisville had a chance to get 287g trained officers  when funding was available and now it will be tougher to address the problem.  It still would be cheaper for us to actually pay for the training ourselves that to continue with the problem.
  • 12-21-2012: Record deportations announced by federal immigration authorities and new guidance on immigration holds.  See the article in PDF format. Here are some things to note:
    • Deportations are up with enforcement efforts down.  This is an indication of the numbers of illegal aliens here.
    • the Obama administration wants to scrap 287g task force efforts.  This essentially stops enforcement.

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