For Immediate Release: September 28, 2021
We Are Home Campaign: Biden Administration Must End the Racist Police-to-Deportation Pipeline
Washington, D.C. – Last week, over 50 Members of Congress called on the Biden Administration to dis-entangle local and state law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement by reviewing and ending 287(g) agreements, the Secure Communities program, and the widespread use of detainers. Led by Representatives Quigley, Schakowsky, and Escobar, these lawmakers note, “[t]hese programs and practices turn local law enforcement agencies into a gateway to deportations, co-opt local resources into questionable, racially discriminatory purposes, and strip communities of safety and public trust.”
Sonia Lin, Executive Strategy Director for the We Are Home campaign, said:
“The We Are Home campaign applauds the leadership of the over 50 members of Congress who are seeking to hold the Biden Administration to its commitment to end the police-to-deportation pipeline. For too long, ICE has relied on state and local police to turbo charge their mass deportation agenda. These entanglements tear apart communities, incentivize racial profiling, and replicate the racial disparities of the criminal legal system. The Biden Administration must follow through on its commitment to racial equity and end programs like 287g and Secure Communities that have left immigrant communities more vulnerable and less safe.”
Sirine Shebaya, Executive Director of the National Immigration Project, said:
“Programs like 287(g) and Secure Communities exist to further extend the harmful reach of ICE, an agency with a track record of terrorizing and hurting communities. These programs increase racial profiling, accelerate the pipeline to deportation from communities of color, and continue to separate families and break apart communities. If the Biden administration is to live up to its promises about advancing racial equity within the immigration and criminal systems, terminating these programs is a critical first step.”
Nayna Gupta, Associate Director of Policy for the National Immigrant Justice Center, said:
“Programs of cooperation between local police and federal immigration authorities mark yet
another area in immigration policy where the Biden administration thus far has failed to follow through on promises made–especially to Black and Brown immigrants. These programs are proven to undermine public safety and lead to egregious racial profiling. If the administration truly cares about racial justice and keeping our communities safe, it must take faster steps to dismantle the reach of these programs.”
Programs that feature collaboration between state and local law enforcement and ICE such as 287(g), Secure Communities, and the use of immigration detainers have been shown to lead to racial profiling and harm relationships between police and local communities, undermining public safety for all.
The Trump Administration accelerated ICE’s efforts to deputize state and local law enforcement to enforce immigration law including by signing additional 287(g) agreements with local jurisdictions.
As a candidate, President Biden committed to ending all 287(g) agreements entered into by the Trump Administration and to “aggressively limit[ing] the use of 287(g) and similar programs that force local law enforcement to take on the role of immigration enforcement.”
In February, a group of over 60 members of Congress first engaged Secretary Mayorkas on ending the 287(g) and Secure Communities program, and ending the use of immigration detainers. However, the Secretary and Administration have not yet taken any meaningful action to fulfill the promise to terminate 287(g) agreements and scale back entanglement between local law enforcement agencies and federal immigration.
DHS is expected to issue agency-wide guidance on immigration enforcement this week.
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We Are Home is a nationwide campaign to fight for immigrant communities on three fronts: prioritizing and demanding a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America; a moratorium and overhaul of interior enforcement; and broad affirmative relief from deportation. We Are Home is co-chaired by Community Change/Community Change Action; National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)/Care in Action; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); United Farm Workers/UFW Foundation; and United We Dream.