Today, the House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the Bush Administration’s handling of a program to deputize state and local police as immigration officers. At the hearing, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will discuss its new report that critiques ICE’s oversight of the program. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, with his misguided approach to charging undocumented workers with crimes like smuggling (themselves) rather than focusing in on dangerous criminals, is the poster child for what is wrong with the 287(g) program. Following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“The Joe Arpaio approach to law enforcement is un-American and ineffective. Although some members of Congress are pushing to expand the 287(g) program, the GAO report shows that major reforms of the program are needed in order to ensure community safety and protect civil rights. Arpaio’s approach to immigration enforcement uses racial profiling and trumped up charges to go after workers, rather than violent and dangerous felons. It is the wrong course at the wrong time, and Congress and the new Administration must step in to re-assert federal control over immigration.
“Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) deserves credit for looking into the flaws of the current 287(g) program, which is causing fear and pain in many communities across the country. Clearly, the new Administration has a job to do in correcting the wrongs of the previous Administration and charting a course forward on enforcement that protects communities and protects rights.”
To contact Frank Sharry for on the record comment, please call Paco Fabián at (202) 412-9969.