Earlier this month, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office was granted a three-year contract extension with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency regarding the 287(g) program.
Section 287(g) is part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which permits local law enforcement officers who complete specialized training to enforce immigration law and identify foreign-born criminals.
The YCSO program includes eight specially trained detention classification officers who have access to ICE computer databases as part of their duties. These officers are qualified to determine the legal status of any arrestee processed at the Yavapai County Detention Center in Camp Verde.
Without access to these ICE databases, detention officers would lack the ability to identify many dangerous and previously deported criminal illegal aliens.
Since the 287(g) program’s inception in April 2008, the Detention Services Division has interviewed 13,000 persons during the booking and classification process. In each case, the arrestee was booked on local charges with the eventual determination of undocumented alien status as a result of 287(g) processing by ICE-trained detention officers.
Additionally, YCSO has three trained 287(g) patrol personnel who are used in the field to assist in determining the legal status of persons already detained as part of a criminal investigation.
Their expertise is also used during traffic stops involving transportation of undocumented immigrants by “coyotes” paid to act as human smuggling agents.
As a result of this program, YCSO has transferred over 1,500 illegal aliens to ICE for deportation. This includes aliens processed while in custody and those held during human-smuggling investigations in the field.
Additionally, numerous identity theft cases have been solved through discovery of fraudulent identification cards on many of those detained.
“The strong partnership that the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has built with ICE under the 287(g) program serves as a model in demonstrating how law enforcement agencies can work together to improve public safety in their communities,” Katrina S. Kane, field office director of ICE Detention and Removal Operations in Arizona, stated in a press release.
Yavapai County Sheriff Steve Waugh stated in a press release that he is thankful for the cooperative effort between YCSO and ICE regarding the 287(g) program. “Through this cooperative effort, our ability to identify criminal aliens for deportation has reduced crime and made Yavapai County a safer place to live,” he stated.
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