In an interview with NPR yesterday, I lay out some of the pitfalls of local immigration enforcement in the absence of federal solutions. The 287-g program, taken at its worst, breeds the likes of Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. The issue for many local sheriff offices is, at its core, community safety. Will immigrant communities partner with law enforcement in reporting crimes if they fear that encounters with police will invariably lead to checking people’s immigration status? Unlikely.
Although polar bears are in danger, the ICE we are referring to here is the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In early August, Julie Myers, Assistant Secretary of ICE let slip during an Univision interview that her agency was going to unveil a new program that would allow undocumented immigrants to “self-deport”. As one of the most ridiculous proposals to “fix” our broken immigration system (even worse than “the wall”) nears its final week, we decided to take serious look at the ICE’s pilot program, unfortunately named “Scheduled Departure.”