287(g): Immigration Injustice

A Look at 287(g)
 by the CWM Immigration Committee


The 287(g) Program

’96 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 added Section 287(g) to the Immigration and Nationality Act. This authorizes the Director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enter into partnership agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, who in turn receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions.1 Prior to changes made under the Trump Administration, undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before 2014 with no criminal history were not top priorities for removal from the U.S.

Immigration 287g off to jail

Two executive orders signed in January 25th, 2017 expanded the reach of the 287(g) program.

They changed ICE enforcement practices, making all undocumented immigrants priorities for removal, regardless of whether they have been charged with or convicted of a criminal offense.2,3  

Who is participating?

Immigration 287g Who Is Participating

Out of all 3,142 counties, only 68 in 20 states have 287(g) agreements with ICE.

Aside from these agreements, there are an additional eight law enforcement agencies with 287(g) agreements.1

[KEY] State agreements, County agreements, City agreements

1 https://www.ice.gov/287g

2 https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-enhancing-public-safety-interior-united-states/

3 https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-border-security-immigration-enforcement-improvements/

287(g) in Mecklenburg County

Immigration 287g Meck Co

The 287(g) program started in Mecklenburg County as an agreement with the Sheriff’s Office in 2006.1

Proponents of 287(g) argue that it is intended to reduce crime.

There is no data to support this claim.  

The sheriff’s office has not released statistics to determine the types of arrests that lead immigrants in our community to be detained and/or deported under 287(g) since 2011. In just 12 years, more than 15,000 immigrants in Mecklenburg County have been placed in deportation proceedings because of 287(g).2


ICE in Our County Jail

The graph below shows recent numbers for immigrants turned over to ICE from our county jail under 287(g). Because the Trump Administration policy prioritizes the removal of all undocumented immigrants, there has been an sharp increase in deportations in Mecklenburg County under 287(g) since 2017.

Immigration 287g graph

People Placed in Deportation Proceedings Under 287(g) by Year

2017: Total 1,307; Removals: 288, or 22%

2016: Total 1,241; Departures: 100, or 8%.

2015: Total 1,445; Departures: 91, or 6%.

[KEY] Departures, Priority 1 (Threats to national security, border security, & public safety), Priority 2 (Misdemeanants & new immigration violators), Priority 3 (Other immigration violations), Non-Criminal

A slideshow of graphics:



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1 http://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/local-news/mecklenburg-county-to-further-research-controversial-287g-program

2 http://www.fox46charlotte.com/news/local-news/mecklenburg-co-commissioners-to-discuss-controversial-program-against-immigrants

3 https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-enhancing-public-safety-interior-united-states/

4 https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-border-security-immigration-enforcement-improvements/

5 https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/14_1120_memo_prosecutorial_discretion.pdf

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