Budget cuts to 287-G prompt nation-wide review.
The 287g agreement between the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was only extended through the end of the year, while federal officials continue to evaluate the controversial immigration program, according to ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas.
The last agreement, signed in 2009, expired on September 31. Sheriff Chuck Jenkins initiated the program in 2006. Navas said in a statement that the budget for 287g’s task force program was cut by $17 million. To implement the budget reduction, ICE is conducting a national review of all 287(g) agreements.
Secure Communities, another program for identifying illegal immigrants accused of crimes, is more "consistent, efficient and cost effective," she said.
"In light of the nation-wide activation of the Secure Communities program and the focus on other ICE enforcement programs, the FY 2013 budget reduces the 287(g) task force program by $17 million. The Secure Communities screening process, coupled with federal officers, is more consistent, efficient and cost effective in identifying and removing criminal and other priority aliens," Navas said.
Sheriff Jenkins said that Secure Communities is not as effective as 287(g) because it targets those illegal immigrants who have already had contact with law enforcement agencies and whose names are in a nation-wide database.
With 287(g), however, anyone arrested for any crime and identified as being in the country illegally could be turned over to the Department of Homeland Security for deportation, Jenkins said.
"The political winds have shifted since 2006" and modifications have been made to the 287(g) program, Jenkins said.
The program will continue, but will probably be less restrictive than the current model. Jenkins expects that a new agreement will be in place in January.