Quigley, Jayapal, García Seek to Rescind 287(g) Program
Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Jesús "Chuy" García (IL-04), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the Protecting the Rights Of Towns against federal Enforcement contrary to Constitutional Tenets for Immigration Act, or the PROTECT Immigration Act, legislation which would end the deputization of local and state police departments to enforce immigration law. The PROTECT Immigration Act would rescind the statutory authority for the federal government's 287(g) Program, which allows the Department of Homeland Security to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies for the purposes of enforcing federal immigration law.
“The Trump administration spent years fomenting a culture of fear in immigrant communities and eroding the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they protect. Ending programs that turn local law enforcement into immigration enforcement departments is a critical step in the process of returning to an immigration system that prioritizes justice over fear,” said Quigley. “We must enact legislation that ensures immigration enforcement always remains the purview of the federal government because local and state law enforcement already have a job to do—protecting and serving their communities.”
“While we’ve begun a new presidential administration, we still need to put an end to our country’s long history of targeting, profiling, and tearing apart immigrant communities while criminalizing those who call them home,” said Jayapal. “A critical first step is ending the unnecessary deputization of local and state police departments to enforce outdated federal immigration law. Doing so will not only make our communities more safe but will begin to humanely reform our broken immigration system so it’s focused on dignity, fairness, and family unity.”
“When local law enforcement works hand in hand with ICE, everyone is less safe. Imagine what this means for immigrants who already avoid reporting domestic violence or other crimes because they fear being deported? For Black and Brown immigrants, the entanglement of law enforcement and immigration agencies means increased racial profiling, arrests, incarceration, and deportation,” said García. “Our communities don’t need more enforcement – they need investments in education, access to affordable health care, and jobs. If we are committed to creating a more humane and just immigration system, then we must start by terminating programs such as 287(g).”
“Immigration enforcement should not be delegated to state and local police departments that are not equipped to enforce immigration laws – it is the job of the federal government.” said Booker. “These agreements undermine public safety and result in the racial profiling and harassment of members of the immigrant community.”
The 287(g) Program allows the Department of Homeland Security to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies for the purposes of enforcing federal immigration law. In 2017, then-President Trump issued an executive order to drastically expand the program.
The Members also sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, urging the federal agency to terminate all existing 287(g) agreements.
Specifically, the PROTECT Immigration Act would:
- Repeal the statutory authority for the 287(g) Program; and
- Clarify that state and local law enforcement lack “inherent authority” to arrest people for suspected immigration offenses.