Congressman Jerry Moran, along with 53 other Members of Congress, notified President Obama of their support for a federal program that allows state and local law enforcement agencies to perform immigration law enforcement functions. The members contacted the President after his administration recently implemented limits on state and local law enforcement agencies who participate in the 287(g) Program. The limitations prevent state and local law enforcement officers from arresting many of the illegal immigrants with whom they come into contact.
"The first priority to solving our nation's illegal immigration problem is to secure our country's borders," Moran said. "In addition to protecting our borders, there must be a fair and efficient immigration agency that encourages compliance with our laws.
"If our immigration system is to be fixed, our current immigration laws must be enforced. The 287(g) Program is working and thousands of illegal immigrants are being identified and deported. Since January 2006, the program is credited with identifying more than 130,000 potentially removable immigrants. It is a useful and cost-effective tool to combat illegal immigration.
"Although the federal government has failed overall when it comes to immigration, the 287(g) Program is an example of a program that is making a difference. However, recent changes to the program made by the Obama administration threaten its effectiveness. It is evident these changes reflect the administration's approach to illegal immigration. The Obama administration should not limit local agencies' ability to help enforce our nation's laws."
The 287(g) Program was created by Congress in 1996 to enhance cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities. Participation in the program is voluntary.