Press Room

287(g) Needs to be Fixed and Focused First

America's Voice | Released on 07/13/2009


More Information Needed to Ensure that Overhauled Program Means No More Abuses or Arpaios

Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to both revamp and expand 287(g), the program in which the federal government authorizes local law enforcement to engage in immigration enforcement. Below is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
 
“We are troubled that the federal government is expanding the 287(g) program before proving that they can improve on its many flaws.  At a time when law enforcement is under siege from deep cuts in revenue, the last thing many of our front line police want is to spend precious time and resources on chasing busboys and landscapers.  As implemented by the Bush Administration, the 287(g) program has hurt the practice of community policing and taken the focus away from real criminals.”
 
“We support our law enforcement community and point to organizations such as the Police Foundation and Major Cities Chiefs Association who have found that 287(g) has harmed community policing efforts by creating a gulf of distrust between police and immigrant communities.  The program also has been the flimsy substantiation used by Sheriff Joe Arpaio to engage in racial profiling and to terrorize the Latino community of Maricopa County, AZ.”
 
“Properly implemented, 287(g) agreements would focus on serious criminal behavior, not workers on their way to homes or jobs.  However, last week’s announcement did not specify how the new 287(g) program would prevent future abuses and future Joe Arpaios.  The decision to expand the flawed program before reining in these abuses is deeply disturbing.”

“The Department of Homeland Security must put its money where its mouth is, and revoke the 287(g) agreement with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, which goes against all standards of fairness and effective community policing.”

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.
 
http://www.americasvoiceonline.org

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