287(g) Just Doesn’t Work

Wednesday, March 4, 2009
George Tzamaras

WASHINGTON, DC - Today the House Committee on Homeland Security convened a hearing to examine the 287(g) program, which deputizes local law-enforcement officers to act as immigration enforcement agents. The hearing coincided with the release of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that confirmed that the program is not being used to target dangerous criminals, and there has not been adequate federal oversight of the local police departments participating in the program.

"Today's hearing and a Government Accountability Office report released today substantiate what community groups and local law enforcement authorities have known for a long time: the 287(g) program just doesn't work. This program creates confusion and mistrust between communities and local law enforcement. It is an expensive and ineffective crime prevention measure that increases the risk of racial profiling, strains local resources, and is unnecessary because local law enforcement already has the authority to fight crime," said Charles H. Kuck, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

The events of today signal once again the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform that would allow the federal government to take charge of immigration policy at the federal level rather than deputizing state and local officers to do the job of the federal government. AILA looks forward with confidence as the Obama administration develops smarter strategies to bring about fair and reasonable immigration reform.


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 09030530.