Just hours after the Supreme Court issued its decision on SB 1070, federal officials said they would immediately rescind a controversial federal-state partnership that uses local cops in Arizona to detain immigrants. A Department of Homeland Security official speaking on the condition of anonymity told Colorlines.com that the 287g program would be terminated in all Arizona counties. The official said the program was not useful in states that have adopted immigration enforcement laws like SB1070.
The official also said that the state would not respond to immigration reports from Arizona cops unless the individual fits the federal immigration priorities that the Obama administration has long articulated (ie., people convicted of major crimes, those who have been previously deported and people who recently crossed the border). Advocates have long charged that the 287g program encourages profiling and that the administration deports far more people than accounted for under the priorities it insists it follows.
The announcement is a tacit admission on the federal government’s part of something that immigration advocates have been saying for a long time: that the administration’s 287g program and other local-federal partnerships are substantively similar to the “show me your papers” provision of Arizona’s SB 1070. For years, the feds have deputized local cops as immigration enforcers through the 287g program. Now that the similar provision from SB 1070 is on its way to taking effect in Arizona, it appears the feds see no need for it’s own program.
While the official said that the 287g program would be lifted immediately in Arizona, the administration will also terminate the program in other states where laws like SB 1070 goes into effect.
Read Seth’s overview of the Supreme Court ruling this morning and check back tomorrow for in-depth analysis from Colorlines.com writers.