WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL) re-introduced legislation today that seeks to remove the ability of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to contract with local law enforcement for the purposes of enforcing federal immigration law. The reintroduction comes on the heels of a new ICE initiative unveiled last week that allows local law enforcement officers to individually partner with ICE, even if the jurisdictions in which they work do not have formal 287(g) agreements.
The PROTECT Immigration Act would repeal the 287(g) provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act that allows the Department of Homeland Security to contract with state and local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law. The program has scaled up significantly during the Trump Administration, more than doubling since Trump took office – from 36 agreements in 16 states in January 2017 to 80 agreements in 21 states as of last week.
“With limited time and resources, local and state law enforcement should be focused on keeping their communities safe and pursuing serious threats, not acting as ICE agents,” Senator Booker said. “Immigration enforcement should be the job of the federal government and it’s time we revoke ICE’s authority to deputize our local police officers.”
“Local and state law enforcement already have a job to do—protecting and serving their communities. Immigration enforcement is the job of the federal government,” Rep. Quigley said.“The 287(g) program erodes the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve and too often relies on profiling and racist stereotypes. Police should be building trust with their communities instead of using their limited resources to serve as part of this administration’s deportation force.”
In the Senate, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Kamala Harris (D-CA).
The bill is endorsed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Asian-Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, the Immigration Hub, Indivisible, and the National Immigrant Justice Center.