CHARLESTON, S.C. - Twenty-six state and local law enforcement officers from 12 departments in eight states now join a cadre of more than 1,200 sworn law enforcement personnel to enforce immigration law. The officers graduated today following a rigorous four-week training provided by officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) 287(g) program.
The training and the graduation ceremony was held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Charleston. Following the graduation, ICE deputized these 26 officers, which allows them to enforce federal immigration law under ICE's supervision, which is authorized through section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The officers attended the training in accordance with a memorandum of agreement between their respective jurisdictions and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). These officers will be authorized to enforce federal immigration law during the course of doing their normal duties.
The four-week course provided in-depth training on various enforcement topics, including: immigration law, intercultural relations, and how to use DHS databases to help positively identify criminals and immigration violators. This training was scheduled after both ICE and the represented police departments and sheriff's offices signed a 287(g) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The agreement and training enable officers to legally identify criminal and illegal aliens that they may encounter, and to initiate removal proceedings for those found to be in the country illegally.
The agencies represented in this graduating class include: the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office (SC), the Charleston County Sheriff's Office (SC), the Collier County Sheriff's Office (FL), the Colorado State Patrol (CO), the Harris County Sheriff's Office (TX), the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (FL), the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office (NC), the Mesa Police Department (AZ), the Prince William County Police Department (VA), the Rhode Island State Police (RI), the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office (VA), and the York County Sheriff's Office (SC).
"Each law enforcement agency that signs on to the 287(g) program represents a force multiplier to help combat crime in local communities," said Ann Yom Steel, deputy director for ICE's Office of State and Local Coordination. "Our ICE agents look forward to working closely with these newly trained officers to our mutual benefit, and to the ultimate benefit of public safety."
The 287(g) program is named after the section of law under the INA that authorizes ICE to train local officers to enforce immigration law. It 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.
Currently, 71 local enforcement agencies nationwide have signed MOAs with ICE and now more than 1,200 have been trained to enforce immigration law. More than 172,000 aliens have been removed after being identified by 287(g) officers since January 2006.
The 287(g) program is only one component under the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) umbrella of services available to assist local law enforcement officers. ICE ACCESS provides local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to partner with ICE to combat specific challenges in their communities.
Other ICE ACCESS enforcement options include the creation of local task forces targeting specific challenges like gangs or document fraud, the presence of a Criminal Alien Program (CAP) team in local detention facilities to identify criminal aliens, or training to utilize the ICE Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) which provides officers the ability to inquire about a person's immigration and criminal history.
Law enforcement agencies interested in reviewing the myriad of enforcement programs under the ICE ACCESS program are encouraged to call their local ICE office or visit http://www.ice.gov/ for more information. For additional information regarding 287 (g), please visit OSLTC.