Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows the Federal government (through U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement) to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies to permit designated state and local agents to perform immigration law enforcement functions. The problems with these agreements are obvious. Most egregiously, these agreements often lead to a prevalence of racial profiling, as some lesser-trained state and local agents abuse their newfound power.
Examples of these problems are unfortunately present in Georgia, as both Gwinnett and Cobb counties have had numerous documented instances of 287(g) abuse and racial profiling by their officers since the implementation of their federal agreements. No case was a better indication of these problems than the case of undocumented immigrant Jessica Colotl, a Kennesaw State University student in good standing who faced deportation in 2010 after she was arrested for driving without a license. She was pulled over for "impeding the flow of traffic."
As a result of the abuse and profiling created by these 287(g) programs, the ACLU of Georgia sent a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Liberties and Civil Rights in 2010 outlining the reasons that the 287(g) agreements with Gwinnett and Cobb county should be terminated. Unfortunately, this plea fell on deaf ears, as Gwinnett and Cobb county have continued to operate their 287(g) programs through 2012. In May 2012, we sent yet another complaint letter urging these 287(g) agreements to not be renewed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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