CHARLESTON, S.C. - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that 36 deputies and officers representing eight different law enforcement departments from South Carolina, North Carolina, Colorado, Missouri, Florida, Georgia and Virginia, graduated today at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center's (FLETC's) new 287 (g) facilities.
The ceremony was held here at FLETC'S facility located at 2000 Bainbridge Avenue.
The deputies and officers represent the following law enforcement agencies: the Missouri State Highway Patrol (9); the Loudoun (Va.) Sheriff's Office (3); the Bay County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office (2); the Beaufort (S.C.) Sheriff's Office (3); the Hall County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office (4); the Gaston County (N.C.) Sheriff's Office (6); the El Paso County (Colo.) Sheriff's Office (4); Prince William-Manassas (Va.) Adult Detention Facility (4) and the Cabarrus County (N.C.) Sheriff's Office (1).
"The training that these officers have received at FLETC, our official 287(g) training center, combined with their partnership with ICE, will enhance their ability to better identify criminal aliens in their communities," said Matthew Saylor, ICE's deputy director of the Office of State and Local Coordination. "These partnerships will allow federal and local law enforcement agencies to better serve in protecting public safety and enhancing the integrity of enforcing our immigration laws."
Michael Cooper, Missouri Highway Patrol state trooper and class president of the 287 (g) graduates said, "As a result of this training, I am certain that every student will be able to identify a probable illegal alien, determine alienage and if amenable for removal, be able to place a detainer on an illegal alien and process the illegal alien."
The 287 (g) program, which was conceived in the mid-1990's, has traditionally been delivered via a mobile training team headquartered at the ICE Academy in FLETC, Glynco Georgia. ICE Academy's new Advanced Training Site (ATS) facility offers a centralized point for training.
The four-week program provided in-depth training on a variety of enforcement topics including immigration law, intercultural relations, and how to use Department of Homeland Security databases to help positively identify criminals and immigration violators. Once the equipment is installed at each respective local facility, the officers will be authorized to use the skills learned as part of this training. The agreement will enable officers to determine the immigration status of those processed through the county jails and to initiate removal proceedings for those found to be in the country illegally.
The 287(g) program is named after the section of law under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that authorizes ICE to train local officers to enforce immigration law. The program has received more than $42 million dollars for training and other associated costs under the current FY 2008 budget - up from just over $15 million the program received last fiscal year. Currently, 55 local enforcement agencies spanning the nation have signed MOAs with ICE and now nearly 800 state and local officers have been trained to enforce immigration law. The officers from those agencies are credited for identifying more than 60,000 individuals with possible immigration violations in the past two years.
The 287g program is only one component under the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) umbrella of services offered for assistance to local law enforcement officers. ICE ACCESS provides local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to team 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 www.ice.gov for more information.