Jim Kouri
Arizona immigration law: Politicians and activists deception exposed
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By Jim Kouri
May 13, 2010

How many times have Americans heard lawmakers, mayors, governors, and immigration advocates when asked about Arizona enforcing immigration law, claim that their police officers aren't authorized or trained to enforce immigration laws?

"Well, either these government leaders are too ignorant to hold office or they're out-and-out lying to the American people," said former NYPD detective Sid Franes.

The Immigration and Nationality Act includes section 287(g), added in 1996, that grants local and state jurisdictions the ability to enforce immigration law with proper training and supervision by federal authorities. In 2003, Alabama became the second state in the nation to participate in the program by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security. Florida was the first state to participate, in 2002, and later Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio sent his deputies for training.

While many politicians claim their police officers are not allowed to enforce immigration laws, their excuse for ignoring illegal aliens is a canard. Too few police agencies are taking advantage of the training offered by ICE and DHS.

"Partnerships with our state and local law enforcement colleagues have always been essential to our fight against illegal immigration," said Paul Kilcoyne, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's deputy director for investigations.

"This innovative and cooperative effort allows our state troopers to become force multipliers for America's border security mission. We always welcome those who enter our country legally, but we won't stand idly by and do nothing when we catch illegal aliens, some who have committed crimes like armed robbery, rape and drug smuggling, in our state," he said.

The 287(g) program, one of ICE's top partnership initiatives, allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), in order to receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions. The 287(g) program has emerged as one of the agency's most successful and popular partnership initiatives as more state and local leaders have come to understand how a shared approach to immigration enforcement can benefit their communities.

The 287(g) program allows a state and local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE, under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), in order to receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions. The 287(g) program has emerged as one of the Agency's most successful and popular partnership initiatives as more state and local leaders have come to understand how a shared approach to immigration enforcement can benefit their communities.

The 287(g) program is one component of the ICE ACCESS (Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security) program, which provides local law enforcement agencies an opportunity to team with ICE to combat specific challenges in their communities.

ICE developed the ACCESS program in response to the widespread interest from local law enforcement agencies who have requested ICE assistance through the 287(g) program, which trains local officers to enforce immigration law as authorized through section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Terrorism and criminal activity are most effectively combated through a multi-agency/multi-authority approach that encompasses federal, state and local resources, skills and expertise. State and local law enforcement play a critical role in protecting our homeland because they are often the first responders on the scene when there is an incident or attack against the United States. During the course of daily duties, they will often encounter foreign-born criminals and immigration violators who pose a threat to national security or public safety.

The cross-designation between ICE and state and local patrol officers, detectives, investigators and correctional officers allows these local and state officers necessary resources and latitude to pursue investigations relating to violent crimes, human smuggling, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics smuggling and money laundering. In addition, participating entities are eligible for increased resources and support in more remote geographical locations.

Officer Selection Requirements

Participating officers in the 287(g) program must meet the following requirements:

  • U.S. citizenship

  • Current background investigation completed

  • Minimum two years experience in current position

  • No disciplinary actions pending

Training Requirements

ICE offers a 4-week training program now held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) ICE Academy (ICEA) in Charleston, SC, conducted by certified instructors.

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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