ICE Enters Into 287(g) Agreements With 18 Texas Counties

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

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On July 31, 2017, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it had signed 18 new agreements throughout Texas under section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) [PDF version].

Section 287(g) of the INA allows the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to enter into a written agreement with a State or a political subdivision of a State to permit local authorities to perform the functions of Federal immigration officers in cooperation with the DHS. The use of section 287(g) agreements was curtailed in the latter half of the Obama Administration. However, President Donald Trump issued two executive orders on immigration enforcement on January 25, 2017, which called for the expansion of the use of section 287(g), and former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued implementing memoranda on February 20, 2017 [see article].

Section 287(g) agreement

The DHS news release explains that the 18 new section 287(g) agreements brings the total number to 60. It explains that between 2012 and 2016, it only entered into six new 287(g) agreements. The 60 agreements in place now “is nearly double the number of active programs in 2016.”

The DHS listed the 18 Texas counties that entered into 287(g) agreements on July 31:

  • Aransas County;
  • Calhoun County;
  • Chambers County;
  • DeWitt County;
  • Galveston County;
  • Goliad County;
  • Jackson County;
  • Lavaca County;
  • Lubbock County;
  • Matagorda County;
  • Montgomery County;
  • Refugio County;
  • Smith County;
  • Victoria County;
  • Walker County;
  • Waller County; and
  • Wharton County.

It is worth noting that these 18 counties in Texas join Carrollton County, where the police department already had a section 287(g) agreement with the DHS.

Previously, Harris County, which contains Houston, had a 287(g) agreement with the DHS. However, the Sheriff of Harris County opted out of the 287(g) program on February 22, 2017 [see blog].

The DHS explained in the news release that each of its current 287(g) agreements “operate under a jail enforcement model, which operates solely within the confines of a jail.” This means that it only affects aliens who were arrested by local law enforcement on criminal charges and brought to the jail facility.

Please see our full article for a list of current section 287(g) agreements [see article].