The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is asking the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to end cooperation between local police departments and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In a letter to DHS, the ACLU claims the agreement is “one of the worst federal immigration enforcement programs” and is concerned that it has found new life in the administration of President Donald Trump.
The program, known as 287(g), authorizes state and city police departments to carry out the work of ICE agents, which the ACLU suggests should not be applied to 24 more jurisdictions across America.
“The Trump administration has recklessly expanded the program to include jurisdictions volunteering to join Trump’s deportation force. 287(g) has been expanded despite its troubled past, without transparency or oversight. The costs of enmeshing local law enforcement agencies in the business of federal civil immigration enforcement far outweigh the benefits,” the ACLU argues.
According to ACLU policy counsel Chris Rickerd, “287(g) has long been one of the worst federal immigration enforcement programs and has directly contributed to egregious civil rights violations by notorious figures such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Arizona as well as Sheriff Terry S. Johnson in Alamance County, North Carolina, which is re-applying to join the program.”
Rickerd says DHS “should never partner with jurisdictions that have records of abuse and anti-immigrant animus.”
The ACLU has appealed to Scott Shuchart, the senior civil rights advisor at DHS, writing that the department should reject any further applications to join the program and cancel cooperation where it now exists between ICE and about 60 police departments over 18 states.