PHOENIX (CN) – More than 500 civil rights groups have asked the Obama administration to kill the 287(g) program. The program, which trains local law enforcement to enforce immigration laws, leads to racial profiling and other civil rights violations, the groups said in a letter to the White House.
The letter, signed by Marielena Hincapie of the National Immigration Law Center, says that the program has created distrust in immigrant communities and “diverted already reduced law enforcement resources for their core mission.”
The letter cites the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, where officers have arrested immigrants “driving to work, standing at day labor sites, or while fishing off piers.” One pregnant woman was shackled to a bed during labor, the letter states.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Office has 160 trained officers, the highest number in any jurisdiction, according to the ACLU of Arizona. The Department of Justice is investigating Arpaio’s office, “whose 287(g) program has been widely criticized for engaging in racial and ethnic profiling,” the ACLU says.
The organizations that signed the letter include the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the ACLU, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Anti-Defamation League.