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Reports Questions Success of 287(g) Program

Today, the New York Times reported that the Government Accountability Office has released their findings on a study of the infamous 287(g) program. The program, which has 67 participating local law enforcement agencies, is designed to allow local law enforcement agents to enforce Federal immigration laws.

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We have been saying for years that not only is 287(g) ineffective, but it is costly to communities, who experience a heightened sense of insecurity and fear under the program. Well, now the GAO is coming out and saying basically the same thing.

The report, to be released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, says the government has failed to determine how many of the thousands of people deported under the program were the kind of violent felons it was devised to root out.

Some law enforcement agencies had used the program to deport immigrants “who have committed minor crimes, such as carrying an open container of alcohol,” the report said, and at least four agencies referred minor traffic offenders for deportation.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has already ordered a review of the program. A top official at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is set to testify at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.

The ineffective program is yet another symptom created by the lack of Immigration Reform at the Federal level. When Federal laws are pushed off onto local entities for enforcement, you are bound to run into issues. This is a Federal problem and should be dealt with as such.

Again (and I feel like a broken record here, people) this draws even more attention to the NEED FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM. The system is broken and no amount of manuevering at the local level can fix it. Immigration Reform must be passed, and soon.

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