A recent report from the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), which examined the 287(g) program in Davidson County, TN between 2006-2007, found that the 287(g) and Secure Communities programs have not succeeded in prioritizing serious criminals. 287(g) is the program administered by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that deputizes regular law enforcement officers to detain undocumented. A few of the Georgia counties participate in the 287(g) program, including Cobb and Gwinnett counties. ICE has justified the program by stating that it helps them target serious criminal offenders and deport them pursuant the ICE's priorities of removing criminal immigrants.
However, the report once again confirms that despite assertions from ICE, the local police officers continue to detain and deport people who have not committed serious crimes and present no threat to our communities.
Between May 2006 and July 2007, the percentage of Hispanics arrested for driving without a license in Davidson County, TN, increased by more than 20% (from 23.3% to 49.4%) while the number of non-Hispanic defendants declined by 25% (yet they claim no racial profiling). 85% of those processed through 287(g) were misdemeanor arrests, mainly traffic offenses. Only 1.3% of those arrested were gang members, none were suspected terrorists, and 60% had never been arrested previously.
According to ICE’s data, since the program was initiated, 28% of the people transferred to ICE custody have been non-criminals, and so far, in FY2010, 32% of individuals transferred to ICE custody have been non-criminals.
Obviously if so many non-criminals are processed through the system, ICE lacks the resources to adhere to their real priorities, such as detaining and removing the criminals. The report is no surprise -- just another confirmation that 287(g) doesn't really work to deport the real criminals but a bunch of non-criminals, traffic and misdemeanor offenders.
The full report is available at: http://www.nclr.org/images/uploads/publications/287gReportFinal.pdf