San Bernardino County renewed a program this week in which the Sheriff’s Department will continue its partnership with federal immigration authorities in order to identify those who have committed crimes and are in the country without proper authorization.
The program is more commonly referred to as 287g, named after the specific section of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The 287g program is employed in the county detention facilities only after a person has been booked in for an unrelated offense. The only time in which the immigration status is of concern is after the subject is arrested for a crime, not related to immigration status.
Once in custody, trained custody staffers interview the subject and analyze the individual case. If the subject meets the criteria for a detainer, which is outlined by the department of Homeland Security, their information is forwarded to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. If ICE chooses to take custody of the individual, the subject is held for no longer than 72 hours. ICE officers take custody of their subjects every day, Monday through Friday. The Sheriff’s Department has no role in the deportation hearings or process.
The Sheriff’s Department issued 1,298 detainers between January 1, 2013 and July 28, 2013. On average, about 70,000 people are booked into county jail facilities in a month. Only 185 detainers, on average, are placed monthly. In comparison with the number of people who are booked into county detention facilities, those who are subject to 287g detainers are a miniscule percentage.
Despite the tiny percentage of overall bookings, statistics show 50% of the charges related to the 287g detainers were felonies. Of those booked on felony charges 36% were drug-related; 16% were robbery, theft or stolen property related; 10% were for domestic violence; and another 6% were for child abuse or molestation. Other felony detainers were issued for charges of murder, rape, manslaughter, kidnapping, chop shops, sodomy, indecent exposure, penetration with a foreign object and firearms violations.
Despite widespread anecdotal claims that the majority of 287g detainers are for minor violations, the data shows that of the 1,289 detainers placed in the first half of the year, only 6% were traffic related. The large majority of the misdemeanor bookings were for charges related to public safety such as driving under the influence, drug use and domestic violence.
It is important to note the above-mentioned data was derived from the booking charges of those who had detainers placed. The booking charge could be the result of an outstanding warrant or an open charge. Additional charges –other than the original booking charge – may be added once the identity is confirmed and the department receives notice of warrants for arrest from other counties or states.
The 287g program has been employed by the Sheriff’s Department for roughly seven years. The previous memorandum of agreement expired this year. The County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the most recent memorandum of agreement with ICE on Tuesday.
Refer: Deputy Lolita Harper
Station: Public Affairs Division
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