Immigration Enforcement

Guilford North Carolina to join 287(g) criminal deportation program

Thursday, January 15

( updated 3:29 pm)

GREENSBORO – Illegal immigrants arrested on criminal charges in Guilford County could be deported when the sheriff’s office begins a version of the 287(g) immigration program in the spring, Sheriff BJ Barnes said.

The program, which is a cooperative partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is designed to allow a local law enforcement officer to check a suspect’s citizenship and detain them for deportation.

“That officer will have the authority of an ICE agent and access to their database, which was what we were looking for,” said Barnes, who first applied for the 287(g) program in April 2007. A federal grant would pay for the program in Guilford.

Full-blown versions of the controversial 287(g) program, which are operating in Alamance, Wake, Mecklenburg and Gaston counties, allows those counties to hold illegal immigrants until they are handed over to ICE officials.

Barnes said Guilford County will have a “hybrid” 287(g) program, not a full-blown program that keeps illegals in jail for an extended period.

“It’s an offshoot to where we have access to 287 information,” Barnes said. “So say, if we arrest someone for breaking into a house, we can see if they are here legally or illegally.”

Under the program to begin in April, Barnes said suspects found to be illegal immigrants would not be released on bond but would be held locally until their criminal charge is resolved in court.

Once that happens, the suspects would then be handed over to ICE officials for the deportation process.

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January 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment