ICE Ends Immigration Program in Loudoun

Budget cuts have forced changes to program that allows local officers to question, detain suspected criminals based on legal status.

After five years, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office's participation in the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s 287(g) program — which allowed local officers to help with street-level immigration enforcement — has been discontinued.

The program allowed local law enforcement to question those suspected of crimes about their legal status and detain or arrest those here illegally, potentially leading to their deportation.

Loudoun County is one of 57 municipalities in 21 states who entered into agreements with ICE under the law. ICE worked with local law enforcement to train officers in the programs.

ICE also ended agreements with the 16 other jurisdictions who had "task force" agreements under the law — five of them in Virginia, including neighboring Herndon.

Forty jurisdictions who are authorized for jail enforcement under the law, including the Prince William-Manassas Regional Jail and the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office, will continue its programs, at least for now.

According to an ICE press release from Dec. 21, this restricts the use of detainers against individuals arrested for minor misdemeanor offenses such as traffic offenses and other petty crimes.

New federal guidelines, released concurrently with the announcement its 287(g) program was ending, say local police should instead focus on, among other things, felons, repeat criminals, repeat immigration law offenders, or public safety threats — such as known gang members or suspected terrorists. 

During fiscal year 2012, ICE’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations removed 409,849 individuals from the country. About 55 percent of them were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors.

[What do you think about ICE discontinuing the 287(g) program in Loudoun? Speak Out on this issue by clicking here.

USA Today reported earlier this year that eliminating the program alltogether could save the Department of Homeland Security about $17 million.

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell asked ICE to authorize state troopers under a street-level 287(g) program in 2010, but his request was denied.

“Although the formal 287(g) program has been discontinued, we have over the course of the program developed strong relationships with ICE officials and we will continue to work closely with them to enhance public safety throughout our community,” Col. Maggie A. DeBoard, Herndon’s Chief of Police, said in the town’s statement

The Secure Communities Program, which is used at the Fairfax County jail, remains in effect. Secure Communities helps identify criminal illegal immigrants as they’re arrested and booked by running their fingerprints against a national database when they’re taken into custody.

“While the FY 2012 removals indicate that we continue to make progress in focusing resources on criminal and priority aliens, with more convicted criminals being removed from the country than ever before, we are constantly looking for ways to ensure that we are doing everything we can to utilize our resources in a way that maximizes public safety,” ICE Director John Morton wrote in a release.

corporal punishment January 10, 2013 at 07:49 PM
We don't need any one specific agency to ask the question but in my opinion the question needs to be asked. To eliminate the entire program under the guise of 'budgetary constraints' is total BS. It costs no money at all to ask a question. Give our police officers access to the proper databases and let them do their jobs.
Marcus Aurelius January 11, 2013 at 08:58 PM
The end of 287(g) program in Loudoun is good news! Being checked for legal residency at a minor traffic stop invites targetting based on phyiscal profiling. When I was stopped in Leesburg, I received a simple warning for a tail light that was out. Of course, I was a white man with a coat and tie. Folks who look different than I do often fear traffic stops. My African-American friends have told me about the instructions they give their teenage drivers about how to act when pulled over. My Latino friends tell me that they are careful about driving in certain areas of Loudoun because of the frequency of traffic stops. A good friend with a valid green card was almost arrested because the officer doubted the validity of the document. Our neighbors in Prince Williams County still live in fear of the police use of immigration regulations to harass them. While I fully support the deportation of criminals without proper residency documents, a traffic ticket should not be the grounds for immigration investigation.
Broheme January 12, 2013 at 03:26 AM
This sounds totally blown out of proportion. I have friends of all the ethnicities mentioned above and none have mentioned such things. This seems like an agenda to me.
Bob Bruhns January 12, 2013 at 05:09 AM
The "Secure Communities" program does not apply to serious criminals until _after_ they have struck again, and been arrested and jailed. In contrast, the 287(g) program applied to serious criminals _before_ they struck again. So the elimination of the 287(g) program, and its replacement by the "Secure Communities" program, reduces the effectiveness of the law-enforcement that we are paying for. Even so, this latest insult to our intelligence by the US Government won't matter much. ICE has been routinely releasing known murderers all along. ARTICLE: Many freed criminals avoid deportation, strike again Boston Globe, December 09, 2012 http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/12/09/secret-criminals-quietly-released-criminals-who-were-supposed-deported-with-deadly-consequences/864u1YQbUaVcRiSnz6VaxJ/story.html "The vast and secretive US prison system for immigrants, stymied when it tries to deport some criminals, has quietly released thousands, including killers, a Globe investigation shows." This is not some angry article from some xenophobic lunatics - the Boston Globe is owned by the New York Times. I submit that this change will reduce the capture rate of serious criminals and drunk drivers in this area, and that is not good. However, it will not improve the wage scale for illegal aliens - so business interests looking for cheap illegal labor, need not worry. Surprised? Then I suggest that you start paying attention. Now might be a good time to start.
joe brewer January 13, 2013 at 09:54 PM
A sad decision indeed. Verify address or detain is good in my book. I see the dopes on the patch don't even want to verify the current address of someone stopped by a officer which is just a testament to the stupidity of some people. These people should always use birth control or have their tubes tied. Also they should not be able to vote because they lack the sense to make informed decisions and as for driving do you want these loons on the road with you? It cost a estimated 23k dollars to deport a illegal. Instead pay the illegal to leave. A plane ticket and a thousand dollars which they would have to collect in person in their home country. A additional $500.00 a month for 12 months that would have to be collected in person, total 8k you save 15 thousand dollars.


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