Danbury has seen a heated debate on undocumented immigrants. (Photo: mystical_swirl/Flickr)
Billed by a Latino newspaper as “one of the most controversial measures enacted by the city’s Common Council”, an agreement between Danbury, Conn., and the Department of Homeland Security for that municipality to join the criticized 287 (g) program is finally going into effect after extensive debate.
Under the agreement, which at least 66 local law enforcement agencies nationwide have joined, two Danbury Police detectives will be trained by DHS to enforce immigration laws. The Associated Press reported, the agreement has already resulted in immigrants’ moving away from the southern Connecticut city.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton says the agreement will function under new rules set by the Obama administration, which supposedly would prevent local officers from going after non-criminal undocumented immigrants and those who commit minor infractions, like traffic violations.
According to the Tribuna Connecticut newspaper, Boughton said:
“The revised program was not created to cater to either of the extreme sides of this issue.
“It will not pick up the (day laborers) at Kennedy Park, nor will it turn a blind eye to the legal status of someone who robs a bank.
“This program caters to the 70 percent of the population that wants a safer community, whether they were born here or not and are here legally or illegally.”