HOUSTON—The ACLU of Texas sent letters and Public Records Act requests yesterday to seven counties planning to enter into 287(g) agreements with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under the 287(g) program, local law enforcement agencies agree to dedicate resources, training and manpower to enforce immigration law on behalf of the federal government. The program has been widely criticized for wasting scarce local resources, eroding trust in immigrant communities, encouraging constitutional violations and compromising public safety.
“President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Governor Greg Abbott are trying to mislead Texas communities into surrendering their resources, time and personnel to the federal government,” said Astrid Dominguez, policy strategist for the ACLU of Texas. “As long as our local law enforcement officers are required to serve the racist and heavy-handed prerogatives of Trump’s deportation force, Texas communities will suffer.”
The requests seek information about any agreements between the counties and United States Customs and Border Protection or ICE, as well as policies for when and how the 287(g) agreement would be implemented.
“Participation in the 287(g) program fails to keep communities safe,” said Adriana Piñon, policy counsel and senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Texas. “It costs local taxpayers considerable amounts of money, diverts scarce local resources from public safety to federal immigration enforcement, erodes trust with the community and may expose counties to legal liability. We call on local law enforcement to put community safety first.”
The requests and letters were sent to the sheriffs in the following counties: Burnet, Kendall, Nueces, Potter, Rockwall, Terrell and Williamson.