HOUSTON – In letters sent today to the commissioners of 25 Texas counties, the ACLU of Texas urged the county leaders to not renew their expiring 287(g) agreements with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Under the 287(g) program, local law enforcement agencies agree to dedicate resources, training and officers to enforce immigration law on behalf of the federal government. The 25 counties were chosen because they have current agreements set to expire June 30, 2019.
“287(g) agreements greatly impact our communities, so they should not be agreed upon behind closed doors,” said Adriana Píñon, policy counsel for the ACLU of Texas. “This program harms communities’ trust in law enforcement, ultimately making communities less safe, and drains local resources. We’re sending these letters in the hopes that county commissioners will prioritize local needs and terminate their county’s participation in the 287(g) program.”
The ACLU has strongly opposed the 287(g) program, believing it leads to illegal racial profiling and civil rights abuses while diverting scare resources from traditional local law enforcement functions and distorting immigration enforcement priorities.
The letters sent today stress that the 287(g) agreements:
- Erode community trust in law enforcement as they take on immigration duties instead of prioritizing public safety;
- Create an additional financial burden on local taxpayers for a federal responsibility;
- Expose counties to legal liability for the prolonged detention of individuals.
In addition, the letters request that the commissioners discuss consideration of 287(g) renewals on the agenda of a public comment meeting and that this letter be considered testimony at that meeting.
The letters were sent to the county commissioners in the following counties: Aransas, Burnet, Calhoun, Chambers, DeWitt, Galveston, Goliad, Jackson, Kendall, Lavaca, Lubbock, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nueces, Potter, Refugio, Rockwall, Smith, Tarrant, Terrell, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Wharton, and Williamson.