Section 287(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to deputize selected state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law.
Section 287(g) allows the DHS and law enforcement agencies to make agreements, which require the state and local officers to receive training and work under the supervision of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ICE provides the officers with authorization to identify, process, and—when appropriate—detain immigration offenders they encounter during their regular, daily law-enforcement activity.
The 287(g) program is a set of partnerships between Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and state and local law enforcement agencies that effectively deputize local police to act as federal immigration agents.
The program has been criticized for empowering racist sheriffs and enabling civil rights violations. The ACLU research report “License to Abuse: How ICE’s 287(g) Program Empowers Racist Sheriffs and Civil Rights Violations” examines the records of sheriff offices and other law enforcement agencies that participate in the program.