Homeland Security Today – preparedness and security news – Congressional Reactions to 287(g) Revisions

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson declared that the original program had dangerously morphed “beyond its original boundaries and led to a lack of accountability.”

“I am gratified that this committee’s oversight led the Department to revamp the 287(g) program,” Thompson said in a statement. “This $60 million initiative was intended to allow local law enforcement authorities to remove dangerous aliens. With the proper training and supervision, these local peacekeepers could have been a potent force multiplier. Unfortunately, this opportunity was squandered and the previous administration allowed popularity to become a replacement for documented performance and constitutional principles.”

Revisions to the program will result in taking the program back to its original purpose, he added.

Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), ranking member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, accused the revisions to 287(g) agreements of hurting the ability of local law enforcement agencies to protect Americans.

“Today’s 287 (g) announcement by DHS is a stark departure from current practice and I fear will only hinder our law enforcement agencies’ ability to apprehend and detain illegal aliens,” Rogers said in a statement. “The current 287(g) program enables state and local law enforcement to effectively enforce federal immigration law and is key to keeping our country safe. These agreements have addressed weaknesses in our immigration system and are proven to be effective as is.

‘Standardizing’ 287(g) agreements and limiting apprehension activities to only ‘criminal aliens’ is shortsighted and prevents local law enforcement from following a tried-and-true system that prevents illegal activities specific to their region of the country. This is the last thing we need to do to the men and women who work everyday to protect us,” he said.