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Border Security and Immigration This immigration enforcement program has a troubled history, and Trump wants to restart it By Michele Waslin 20 Photo: cisci1970 Buried inside the interior enforcement Executive Order issued by President Trump in January are the Administration’s plans to revive the 287(g) program. This is concerning because the program has experienced intense criticism over the years, and efforts to ramp up this program should be viewed with extreme caution and skepticism. The 287(g) program, named for the section of the law that authorizes it, allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enter into formal collaborations with state and local law enforcement agencies to deputize officers to enforce federal immigration laws. While created in 1996, the first collaboration was not formalized until 2002 when the state of Florida became the first 287(g) jurisdiction. Several localities considered the program before then, but did not follow through after community groups expressed concerns about the impact of local enforcement of federal immigration laws. The Bush Administration encouraged participation in the 287(g) program as part of its post-9/11 immigration enforcement strategy. It was touted as a “force multiplier” that allowed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to expand its reach with the help of other law enforcement agencies. The program grew quickly and hit its height in mid-2000s with more than 70 signed Memorandums of Agreements. However, there were serious criticisms of the 287(g) program, including the high cost to localities. The federal government does not cover the cost of salaries, overtime, or other costs associated with the 287(g) program and studies have found that localities have spent millions of local dollars to implement it. In fact, in February 2017, Sheriff Ed Gonzalez announced that Harris County, Texas would terminate its 287(g) agreement. Gonzalez noted that the decision was about resource allocation and that he would put the $675,000 spent by the county on the 287 (g) program toward improving clearance rates of major crimes and other priorities. There have also been questions about how effective it is in targeting serious threats to public safety. An extensive study by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) found that the 287(g) program did not target More on page 26

Trump’s immigration remarks at Joint Session of Congress once again packed with inaccurate statements and false blaming of immigrants This week, President Trump gave an address to a joint session of Congress where he continued his divisive, inaccurate rhetoric on immigration. Some analysts have said Trump moderated his tone in this speech, but in reality Trump isn’t shifting from his hard-line immigration policies. In his speech, he continued to falsely blaming immigrants for the underlying cause for many issues our country faces. Below are five statements from President Trump’s Joint Address that need to be corrected and explained. 1. Trump claimed that we’ve left “our own borders wide open for anyone to cross.” This is categorically false Since the last major overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $263 billion on immigration and border enforcement. Currently, the number of border and interior enforcement personnel stands at more than 49,000. The number of U.S. Border Patrol agents nearly doubled from Fiscal Year (FY) 2003 to FY 2016 with Border Patrol now required to have a record 21,370 agents. Additionally, the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents devoted to its office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) nearly tripled from FY 2003 to FY 2016. 2. Trump said that immigrants aren’t contributing to our economy and instead are “costing the country billions.” Once again, Trump is incorrect. The study Trump cited and misconstrued was conducted by the National Academies of Sciences (NAS), Engineering, and Medicine. The same report flatly states found that immigrants have “little to no negative effects on the overall wages or 21 Photo: C-SPAN employment of native-born workers in the long term.” The NAS study also finds that immigrant workers expand the size of the U.S. economy by an estimated 11 percent annually, which translates out to $2 trillion in 2016. Further, the children of immigrants were found to be the largest net fiscal contributors among any group, native or foreign-born, creating significant economic benefits for every American. 3. Trump said that the government is “removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens.” Despite the rhetoric, Trump has complicated immigration enforcement by making virtually all of the undocumented population a priority. The new administration is ignoring priorities that were put into place by the Obama Administration as a way to manage limited law enforcement resources and prioritize those who pose a threat to public safety and national security. The More on page 27

Government Security News 2016 Digital Yearbook
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