Look no further than Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio as the prime example of enforcement priorities that are terribly misguided.
Recent reports, including a Government Accountability Office report released today, have called attention to the program's lack of federal oversight and how the program is being implemented at the local level. The following is a statement by Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a nonpartisan pro-immigrant advocacy organization in Washington.
The facts are piling up that 287g agreements are expensive to implement, both in
terms of dollars, and in community trust. As newly released independent and government reports expose, implementation of the 287g agreement by 67 local and state law enforcement agencies has been devoid of appropriate federal oversight, resulting in excessive use of force, civil rights abuses and costly lawsuits.
Look no further than Arizona's Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio as the prime example of enforcement priorities out of whack.
With a stack of 40,000 felony warrants, more than 2,700 civil rights complaints and residents afraid of calling the police to report a crime, he has shamelessly compromised community safety in his search for headlines. In this case, nobody wins -- county law enforcement can't do its job, and there is a lack of trust and communication between immigrants and the police.
A thorough review of the program is urgently needed, and decisions must be made regarding how to limit or end this program. Without a true commitment from Congress and the new administration to reform our immigration system, patchwork enforcement schemes will continue -- and continue to miss the mark. President Barack Obama needs to lead the country forward to a better, safer, more humane immigration system rather than continuing to rely upon the failed policies of the past administration to shore up our broken system.
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