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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

November 13, 2009

Delegation of Immigration Authority Section 287(g) Immigration and Nationality Act

The ICE 287(g) Program: A Law Enforcement Partnership

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security, is responsible for enforcing federal immigration laws as part of its homeland security mission. ICE works closely with federal, state and local law enforcement partners in this mission.

The 287(g) program, one of ICE’s top partnership initiatives, allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), in order to receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions. The 287(g) program has emerged as one of the agency’s most successful and popular partnership initiatives as more state and local leaders have come to understand how a shared approach to immigration enforcement can benefit their communities.

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ICE ACCESS: A Partnership Approach

The 287(g) program is one component of the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) program, which provides local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to team with ICE to combat specific challenges in their communities.

The 287(g) program is only one component under the ICE ACCESS umbrella of services and programs offered for assistance to local law enforcement officers.

ICE developed the ACCESS program in response to the widespread interest from local law enforcement agencies who have requested ICE assistance through the 287(g) program, which trains local officers to enforce immigration law as authorized through section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Terrorism and criminal activity are most effectively combated through a multi-agency/multi-authority approach that encompasses federal, state and local resources, skills and expertise. State and local law enforcement play a critical role in protecting our homeland because they are often the first responders on the scene when there is an incident or attack against the United States. During the course of daily duties, they will often encounter foreign-born criminals and immigration violators who pose a threat to national security or public safety.

History of 287(g)

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 added Section 287(g), performance of immigration officer functions by state officers and employees, to the Immigration and Nationality Act. This authorizes the secretary of DHS to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of ICE officers.

The cross-designation between ICE and state and local patrol officers, detectives, investigators and correctional officers allows these local and state officers necessary resources and latitude to pursue investigations relating to violent crimes, human smuggling, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics smuggling and money laundering. In addition, participating entities are eligible for increased resources and support in more remote geographical locations.

Memorandum of Agreement

The MOA defines the scope and limitations of the authority to be designated. It also establishes the supervisory structure for the officers working under the cross-designation and prescribes the agreed upon complaint process governing officer conduct during the life of the MOA. Under the statute, ICE will supervise all cross-designated officers when they exercise their immigration authorities. The agreement must be signed by the ICE Assistant Secretary, and the governor, a senior political entity, or the head of the local agency before trained local officers are authorized to enforce immigration law.

Officer Selection Requirements

Participating officers in the 287(g) program must meet the following requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship
  • Current background investigation completed
  • Minimum two years experience in current position
  • No disciplinary actions pending

Training Requirements

ICE offers a 4-week training program now held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) ICE Academy (ICEA) in Charleston, SC, conducted by certified instructors.

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287(g) Results and Participating Entities

Since January 2006, the 287(g) program is credited with identifying more than 130,000 potentially removable aliens – mostly at local jails. More than 1,075 officers have been trained and certified through the program under 67 MOAs (64 Mutually Signed; 3 Agreements in Principle):

Mutually Signed Agreements (64) as of 11/13/2009
STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY SUPPORT TYPE DATES SIGNED
ALABAMA Etowah County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 07/08/2008
ALABAMA Alabama Department of Public Safety TASK FORCE 09/10/2003
ARKANSAS Benton County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 09/26/2007
ARKANSAS Rogers Police Department TASK FORCE 09/25/2007
ARKANSAS Washington County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 09/26/2007
ARKANSAS City of Springdale Police Department TASK FORCE 09/26/2007
ARIZONA** Florence Police Department TASK FORCE 10/21/2009
ARIZONA Pima County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 03/10/2008
ARIZONA Maricopa County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 02/07/2007
ARIZONA Arizona Department of Corrections JAIL ENFORCEMENT 09/16/2005
ARIZONA Arizona Department of Public Safety TASK FORCE 04/15/2007
ARIZONA City of Phoenix Police Department TASK FORCE 03/10/2008
ARIZONA Pinal County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 03/10/2008
ARIZONA Yavapai County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 03/10/2008
COLORADO Colorado Department of Public Safety TASK FORCE 03/29/2007
COLORADO El Paso County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 05/17/2007
CONNECTICUT** City of Danbury Police Department TASK FORCE 10/15/2009
DELAWARE** Delaware Department of Corrections JAIL ENFORCEMENT 10/15/2009
FLORIDA Bay County Sheriff's Office TASK FORCE 06/15/2008
FLORIDA Collier County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 08/06/2007
FLORIDA Florida Department of Law Enforcement TASK FORCE 07/02/2002
FLORIDA Jacksonville Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 07/08/2008
GEORGIA Georgia Department of Public Safety TASK FORCE 07/27/2007
GEORGIA Hall County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 02/29/2008
GEORGIA Whitfield County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 02/04/2008
GEORGIA Cobb County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 02/13/2007
GEORGIA Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 10/15/2009
MARYLAND Frederick County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 02/06/2008
MINNESOTA Minnesota Department of Public Safety TASK FORCE 09/22/2008
MISSOURI Missouri State Highway Patrol TASK FORCE 06/25/2008
NEVADA Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department JAIL ENFORCEMENT 09/08/2008
NEW HAMPSHIRE Hudson City Police Department TASK FORCE 05/05/2007
NEW JERSEY Hudson County Department of Corrections JAIL ENFORCEMENT 08/11/2008
NORTH CAROLINA Durham Police Department TASK FORCE 02/01/2008
NORTH CAROLINA Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 08/02/2007
NORTH CAROLINA Gaston County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 02/22/2007
NORTH CAROLINA** Guilford County Sheriff's Office TASK FORCE 10/15/2009
NORTH CAROLINA Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 02/27/2006
NORTH CAROLINA Wake County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 06/25/2008
NORTH CAROLINA Alamance County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 01/10/2007
NORTH CAROLINA Henderson County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 06/25/2008
OHIO Butler County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 02/05/2008
OKLAHOMA Tulsa County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 08/06/2007
RHODE ISLAND** Rhode Island State Police TASK FORCE 10/15/2009
SOUTH CAROLINA Beaufort County Sheriff's Office TASK FORCE 06/25/2008
SOUTH CAROLINA** Charleston County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 11/09/2009
SOUTH CAROLINA York County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 10/16/2007
TENNESSEE Davidson County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 02/21/2007
TENNESSEE Tennessee Highway Patrol / Department of Safety TASK FORCE 06/25/2008
TEXAS Farmers Branch Police Department TASK FORCE 07/08/2008
TEXAS Harris County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 07/20/2008
UTAH Washington County Sheriff Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 09/22/2008
UTAH Weber County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 09/22/2008
VIRGINIA Herndon Police Department TASK FORCE 03/21/2007
VIRGINIA Loudoun County Sheriff's Office TASK FORCE 06/25/2008
VIRGINIA Manassas Police Department TASK FORCE 03/05/2008
VIRGINIA Manassas Park Police Department TASK FORCE 03/10/2008
VIRGINIA Prince William County Police Department TASK FORCE 02/26/2008
VIRGINIA Prince William County Sheriff's Office TASK FORCE 02/26/2008
VIRGINIA Prince William-Manassas Regional Jail JAIL ENFORCEMENT 07/09/2007
VIRGINIA Rockingham County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 04/25/2007
VIRGINIA Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office JAIL & TASK FORCE 05/10/2007

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Agreements in Principle - Pending Local Governing Body Approval (3) as of 11/13/2009
STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY SUPPORT TYPE DATES SIGNED
ARIZONA** City of Mesa Police Department TASK FORCE  
CALIFORNIA San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 10/19/2005
RHODE ISLAND** Rhode Island Department of Corrections JAIL ENFORCEMENT  

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Continued "Good Faith" Negotiations (6) as of 10/19/2009
STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY SUPPORT TYPE DATES SIGNED
CALIFORNIA Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 02/01/2005
CALIFORNIA Orange County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 11/02/2006
CALIFORNIA Riverside County Sheriff's Office JAIL ENFORCEMENT 04/28/2006
MASSACHUSETTS Massachusetts Department of Corrections JAIL ENFORCEMENT 03/26/2007
NEW JERSEY** Morristown Police Department TASK FORCE  
NEW MEXICO New Mexico Department of Corrections JAIL ENFORCEMENT 09/17/2007

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Note: **Do not have 287(g) trained officers.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

ICE comprises four integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities. For more information, visit www.ICE.gov. To report suspicious activity, call 1-866-347-2423.



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