Section 287(g) of The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) – Persistent or Obsolete?

The updated version of the fact sheet The 287(g) Program: A Flawed and Obsolete Method of Immigration Enforcement has been released by the Immigration Policy Center on November 29, 2012.  The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Section 287 (g) was introduced by section 133 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act as an effort to protect and preserve public safety and homeland security.

It gives power to the Department of Homeland Security to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement officers, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), to function as federal immigrant agents after receiving appropriate training in presence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to supervise. Apart from giving full access to federal immigration database, the 287 (g) Program allows such officers to interrogate and detain immigrants who are suspected to be in violation of federal immigration laws, and also issue a detainer against such non-citizens.

Though the main purpose of this program has been protection of public safety, it is noticed that there are incidents where it turned out into another round of racial profiling of Latinos, deviating from the actual investigation due to lack of proper federal oversight. Moreover, except for the training provided to the local law enforcers, ICE does not pay for any costs relates to the implementation of the program, which includes overtime that the officers undergo and financial liability.

There have been cases where the counties had to raise property taxes and other funds to keep the program running. It was also noticed that the said partnership between the federal authority and the local law enforcement does not result in catching of violent criminals rather than a large number of traffic violators who do not pose threat to public safety or certain individuals who haven’t even had a criminal record.

With the local enforcement officers set to arrest and deport immigration law violators, it is very unlikely that the undocumented residents go ahead and contact them to report crimes no matter how heinous they are. Instead of garnering their support by developing appropriate communication and cooperation with the immigrant community, such situations further hampers and threaten safety of the community and hinder community policing.

Hence, the debate still prevails, whether the 287 (g) Program actually is beneficial or just the opposite.



Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is highly experienced in working with employment-based visas, adjustment of status, green cards, and PERM labor certification. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.