Over 500 local and national advocacy groups have promised to “voice their discontent” in coming months with the Obama administration’s continuation of 287(g), a Bush-era program that allows local police to enforce U.S. immigration laws.
The groups sent a two-page letter (plus 13 pages of signatures) to President Obama last week, asking him “to immediately terminate the 287(g) program operated by the Department of Homeland Security.” The letter will be followed by “vigils, marches and other activities across the country,” said the National Immigration Law Center in a press release.
The 287(g) program — named for a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act — has been heavily criticized for leading to racial profiling and creating a climate of fear in immigrant communities.
“The Obama administration has responded to documented violations within the 287(g) program by expanding it and creating an illusory complaint process,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the center, in the statement. “Ostracizing potential victims of and witnesses to crime and providing them with a disincentive to trust the authorities will make all our communities less safe.”