Eighteen Texas sheriffs have signed up to participate in a federal immigration enforcement program that checks the immigration status of inmates in the county jail. Most of the agreements began over the last six weeks. "Illegally entering the United States as a family unit or UAC does not protect individuals from being subject to the immigration laws of this country", said ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan. ICE said the operation was the continuance of a similar effort which took place under the Obama administration in January and February 2016, which they said was a response to an increase in families and UACs from Central America illegally entering the country.
The 287 (g) program - which became law as part of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act in 1996 - enables state and local law enforcement entities to collaborate with and perform functions of federal immigration agents.
The 287 (g) program was notoriously used in Arizona's Maricopa County formerly run by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and in 2011 was canceled due to alleged discriminatory policing practices.
Couple Lose Custody Of Children Due To Their 'Low IQ Scores'
Amy Fabbrini , 31, and Eric Ziegler , 38, are reeling after the state forcibly removed their kids, one a newborn. They were forced to take an IQ test, in which they both scored on the lower end of the spectrum.
Some Texas sheriffs have also previously spoken out against the program, arguing that it saps local resources and their officers could be put to better use.
ICE noted that it now has 60 active 287 (g) agreements, almost double the number of active programs in 2016.