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Public Oversight Missing From Nevada Law Groups Who Work With ICE

Report Suggest Local Law Enforcement Not Holding Public Meetings

October 11, 2018 - 1:32 pm

LAS VEGAS (KXNT) - A new report from the Center for American Progress shows the majority of local law enforcement agencies that work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement under so-called 287 (g) programs have not been holding required public oversight meetings, including three Nevada law enforcement agencies.

Dozens of local law enforcement agencies in the United States, including in Nevada, have partnerships with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. A new report though shows these programs often lack public oversight. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and Lyon County and Nye County Sheriff's offices, are just a few around the country to have established so-called "287-G" programs, allowing ICE to delegate immigration enforcement powers to them. Claudia Flores with the Center for American Progress said these kinds of arrangements have been around for a number of years, but the number of local agencies participating has more than doubled under the Trump administration.

"Once they have that agreement, then localities work with  ICE, you know, on training their officers so that they can carry out deportation duties, any sort of federal immigration enforcement," said Flores. "There are different models for the program," she said.

All these local programs to assist with ICE detentions or deportations are supposed to include public meetings and local oversight committees. Flores and her colleagues called every participating local force and found that wasn't' the case. Their report showed 78 programs, only 17 had held the required meetings, and none in Nevada had held them.

In the few meetings around the U-S that were held, Flores said public records weren't always kept. She said for community members, this lack of opportunity to participate or review information make it nearly impossible to voice concerns.

"If your local resources are going into this program, why isn't it that local leaders are able to really weigh in? So, that is why we have been calling this issue of transparency and hoping that Congress pays attention before the can continue giving more funds to this program," said Flores.

The Department of Homeland Security does accept complaints about 287-G programs via email, phone, and mail. The Center for American Progress report called on local law enforcement groups to comply with the requirements and establish easily accessible, local public meetings.