Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rep. Jared Polis Speaks Out Against 287(g) Program for Creating "Sweep of Terror"

In a floor speech today, Representative Jared Polis (CO) spoke out against the federal 287(g) program, which deputizes local police officers to enforce immigration laws. This program has caused widespread racial and religious profiling -- as Rep. Polis acknowledged, it has caused a "sweep of terror" in communities around the country.

Rep. Polis spoke in reaction to the announcement that the Department of Homeland Security is in the process of signing 67 agreements with local law enforcement agencies for this program. The text of his speech is as follows:

M. Speaker – I rise today in strong opposition to the Federal 287(g) program. This unconscionable program authorizes local governments to carry out immigration law compliance, threatening law enforcement and our constitutional protections.

We’ve seen Sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona despicably racially profile and round up Latinos in front of TV cameras as he has enforced his 287(g) power. We’ve watched in horror as he and others—a disgrace to the uniforms that they wear—have detained people based solely upon the color of their skin.

Arpaio is now thankfully under investigation for civil rights violations for his discriminatory, unconstitutional searches and seizures. Nevertheless, I’m sad to announce that last Friday afternoon ICE announced 287(g) agreements with sixty-seven state and local law enforcement agencies across the country.

287(g) scares victims and witnesses of crimes to avoid contacting police for fear of being mistreated. 287(g) invites exploitation by those who know that they won’t be reported to police, because it combines the contradictory duties into the same police force.

What is the result? A sweep of terror that has frightened legal and undocumented immigrants into hiding, undermining both law enforcement efforts across our country. 287(g) programs undermine the spirit and text of the U.S. Constitution, and I encourage Congress to repeal 287 (g). Thank you.

Here at FCNL, we applaud Rep. Polis for speaking out on this important issue. We urge Congress to terminate the 287(g) program.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! to Rep. Polis for giving a concise, forceful speech that clearly outlined the many reasons why the 287(g) program is a bad idea.

    It's very exciting when representatives give such great floor speeches.