This program has opened up the door for endless abuses. Local and state police officers, who are supposed to use this program to round up illegal immigrants committing serious crimes, are instead nabbing folks who urinate in public or speed. That’s not how the program was supposed to work.
By N.C. Aizenman
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Immigration officials have failed to develop “key internal controls” over a controversial program that trains state and local police to identify illegal immigrants involved in crime, so some departments are focusing on minor violations rather than on serious offenses, according to federal investigators.
A Government Accountability Office report released last night was requested by congressional oversight panels in advance of hearings on the program to be held today by the House Committee on Homeland Security.
Known as 287(g) after the legal provision authorizing it, the identification program has expanded rapidly in recent years, receiving $60 million between 2006 and 2008, training 951 state and local law enforcement officers in 67 agencies — including the police forces of counties including Prince William — and resulting in the arrests of at least 43,000 immigrants, almost 28,000 of whom ultimately were ordered out of the country.