A program run by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency within the Department of Homeland Security that trains local law enforcement to begin immigrations proceedings against criminals captured in their localities is called the Section 287(g) program, a reference to its number in the legal code. Under 287(g) a suspect arrested for a crime may, if the local law enforcement officer (LEO) has reasonable doubt as to his legal residency, be checked out under ICE databases to confirm his immigration status. If it’s determined that the suspect is in the US illegally, he may be detained by the local LEO’s and turned over to ICE for deportation proceedings. Loudoun County finally signed onto a 287(g) agreement in June of 2008. While the agreement has, reportedly, been altered somewhat by ICE it remains an effective tool to combat illegal alien presence in Loudoun.
Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell is apparently pursuing such an agreement for our state troopers to use all across Virginia:
Gov. Bob McDonnell is pursuing a deal with federal officials that would allow state troopers to enforce immigration law, effectively expanding statewide a program that a handful of Virginia counties have implemented.
The move comes as state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued a legal opinion saying state police officers can check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest.
Though the decision prompted a call for the governor to codify that decision in state law, McDonnell’s office said he is already working toward giving state police new enforcement powers.
Good for you, Governor. There’s no reason at all for our state troopers to not be participating in this program and having a uniform ability across the state will only enhance Virginia’s safety in the long run. I’ll post more on this as this situation unfolds.