CHARLESTON, S.C. - Six Charleston County Sheriff's deputies and seven law enforcement officers from various departments throughout the country graduated here today following a four-week intensive 287 (g) training conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The 287(g) training, which consisted of coursework in immigration law; how to use ICE databases; multi-cultural communication; and the avoidance of racial profiling, was conducted at ICE's Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Charleston.
In addition to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office (CCSO), today's graduates also represent the Carrollton Police Department (1), the Henderson County Sheriff's Office (2), the Prince William County Sheriff's Office (2), and the Rhode Island State Police (2).
The graduates join the more than 1,100 law enforcement officers who have already been trained and certified as 287(g) officers. They will begin their work as 287(g) officers as soon as their respective departments launch the program. It is anticipated that the Charleston County Sheriff's Office will be fully operational by April 15.
Since January 2006, 287(g) trained officers are credited with identifying more than 157,000 individuals, mostly in jails, who are suspected of being in the country illegally. By working together, local and federal officers can better identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens - which is a tremendous benefit to public safety.
"ICE's homeland security mission readily acknowledges the critical role that state and local law enforcement has in our country's broad homeland security strategy," said John Shofi, acting executive director of the Office of State and Local Coordination. "We commend all the departments that participated in this rigorous training. Together, we will continue to protect our communities."
Charleston County Sheriff J. Al Cannon Jr. said, "One of the most important characteristics of a sovereign nation is that it has borders and that it controls under what circumstances non-citizens are allowed to enter the country. This program allows law enforcement to maintain a span of control."
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 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 www.ice.gov for more information.
For additional information regarding 287(g), please visit OSLTC.