NYIC Slams Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Proposed Anti-Immigrant Program

November 17th, 2017

Advocates, community organizers, and faith leaders sign open letter condemning anti-immigrant 287(g) program as wasteful, unsafe

NEW YORK – The New York Immigration Coalition, in partnership with other organizations and individuals– including the New York Civil Liberties Union, Daughters of Charity - Province of St. Louise, and The Greater Rochester Coalition for Immigration Justice– released a letter sent to the Rensselaer County Sheriff condemning its proposed participation in the 287(g) program. Rensselaer is the only New York county that has submitted an application to ICE to be part of the program. Currently, no New York counties participate in the program.

The 287(g) program allows state or local law enforcement to partner with ICE under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in order to receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdictions. It is widely panned as a program that encourages racial profiling by local law enforcement, costs counties thousands of dollars, diverts officers from their public safety responsibilities, and puts immigrant communities at risk of detention and deportation. When local law enforcement officers are diverted from public safety responsibilities and instead become arms of federal immigration enforcement, it has been proven to disincentivize all immigrants from reporting crimes, making it counterproductive to public safety.

“287(g) is a despicable, wasteful and unsafe program: expensive to implement and putting trusts at risk between local communities and law enforcement. New York State has the 2nd largest immigrant population in the country, and breaking with tradition to implement this program in any one of our counties is an affront to our friends, families, neighbors, and communities. We strongly urge the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s department to reconsider participating in 287(g),” stated Steven Choi, Executive Director at New York Immigration Coalition.

Attached is the letter sent to the Rensselaer County Sheriff.