|Border patrol vehicle near the U.S.-Mexico borders|
Photograph by Jae C. Hong/AP
Welcome to a new week at historicpca.blogspot.com. Today we are returning to the subject of sanctuary cities. Over the past few posts, yours truly has been looking at the history and impact of sanctuary cities. This post is going to examine anti-sanctuary cities. These are jurisdictions that pledged to enforce the new immigration agenda. Why would a city do that, you may ask. The reasons, as alway are not so clear cut as you may think. Our guide for the session is Tanvi Misra's CityLab article "The Rise of Anti-Sanctuary Cities." Apparently, there is an interest in complying with immigration enforcement, regardless who is president.
Case in point, officials in Anne Arundel County, Maryland announced that it would take a moderate and measured approach to immigration enforcement by applying for a program that trains local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law. Owen McEvoy, spokesperson for the the county executive, told CityLab,
We work with the federal government pretty much across the gamut, whether it's heart issues or education. Why would we stop at immigration?
Why, indeed, would a jurisdiction cooperate with the federal government on immigration? Shall we have a look?
|President Donald Trump speaking before Congress|
February 27, 2017
My administration...has answered the pleas of the American people for immigration enforcement and border security.
The week before, the Department of Homeland Security, issued guidelines (http://www.dhs.gov; date accessed Apr. 3, 2017) on implementing the president's immigration executive orders. Ms. Misra writes, "It included a provision on a controversial enforcement program, 287(g)-a provision of a 1996 federal immigration law that deputizes local police police and detention officers to enforce immigration in jails or out on patrol." Specifically,
The Commissioner of CBP and the Director of ICE should consider the operational functions and capabilities of the jurisdictions willing to enter into 287 (g) agreements and structure such agreements in a manner that employs the most effective enforcement model for that jurisdiction, including the jail enforcement model, task force force officer model, or joint jail enforcement task force officer model.
|Sarah Saldana, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement|
"First, they resurrect the 'the task force model' of 287(g), which allows police officers to enforce immigration laws in the field, which had been scaled back under Obama administration after racial profiling concerns. Second, the memos open up the program to Customs and Border Protection; previously participating jurisdictions were only takin on ICE's responsibilities. And finally, the language suggests that the government will be taking an active role in getting local jurisdictions on board."
Daniel Stageman, the director of research at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York notes, That's a very, very different model to what's been in place...It has the potential to expand the program exponentially.
|Former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio|
Daniel Stageman continues,
It's hard to say where the more aggressive Trump-era task-force iteration of 287(g) will catch on-it's a "harder sell..."
However, for local jurisdiction that agree to work with ICE to detain undocumented immigrants in jails, rounding up and holding immigrants for deportation by implementing that model might be considered a fruitful option. One example is Bristol County, Massachusetts, "which signed it's 287(g) agreement this year, score a trifecta: a notoriously anti-immigrant sheriff, a growing Latino population, and a contract that brings in $90 per day for each jail bed occupied.
The rise and fall of 287(g)
Before we go any further, let us take a step back and briefly look at the history of 287(g) program. The program first went into effect in the 1990s, but it only gained traction after 2006. Not long after, complaints began to emerge. In 2010, the Office of Inspector General and Government Accountability Office issued reports that revealed that ICE had little oversight officers charged with carrying out the complex immigration enforcement, leaving ample space for abuse and discrimination. A 2011 Justice Department investigation brought to light "rampant racial profiling and civil rights abuses in Maricopa County, Arizona, prompting DHS to rescind its task force agreement with the county." Other jurisdictions with similar agreements, met the same fate.
In 2008, President Obama's administration enacted another municipal immigration enforcement program dubbed Secure Communities. The goal of this program is: "anyone booked into jail has their fingerprints run through an immigration database. If it matched, ICE asked police departments to detain these individuals for extra time." ICE endorsed this program a more efficient use of resources than the 287(g) task force mode. Ms. Misra observes, "Considering the two mostly synonymous, many jurisdiction that participated in Secure Communities let their 287(g) agreements expire."
|Map of Arizona, showing Maricopa County|
Maricopa County, and the costs of 287(g)
Tanvi Misra shares the story of Guadalupe García de Rayos. On February 8, Ms. García de Rayos went for, what feared, was her last check-in with the ICE office in Phoenix. Although she had a deportation order from 2013 hanging over head, the authorities had let her pass for many years. On that evening, she was not so lucky. Despite protests and with her two children looking on, she was immediately sent back over the border to Nogales, Mexico. Ms. García de Rayos later told reporters,
The truth is I was there [in the United States] for my children. For a better future. To work for them. And I don't regret it, because I did it for love.
Ms. García de Rayos caught ICE's attention in 2008 after a raid, ordered by former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, at Mesa water park, where she worked without papers. These types of raids were commonplace after the former sheriff signed on to task force enforcement. The former sheriff took these new powers to the absolute limit-and beyond. His much reviled posse habitually stopped anyone who looked Latino for all sorts of tribal reasons, raided immigrant neighborhoods and businesses, unlawfully detained immigrants, subjected them to excessive force and physical abuse, punishing them for not speaking English. These enforcement tactics were absolute policy. He told the Arizona Central after he signed on to the program,
You go after illegals. I'm not afraid to say that...You go after them and you lock them up.
|Guadalupe García de Rayos|
At the Marshall Project (http://www.themashallproject.org), interactive reporter Anna Flagg designed a map (also viewable at http//www.city.com/crime/2017/03/the-rise-of-anti-sanctuary-cities/5173777/?utm_source=nl_link1_030117) that tracks deportations under the 287(g) program between 2006 and 2013, using data released by ICE. Tanvi Misra reports, "It shows that over 17 percent of the total 175,000 deportations during this time happened from Maricopa County: But this activity came at a steep cost to area taxpayers." Former Sheriff Arpaio's overtime spending spree on undocumented immigration raids created a $1.3 million deficit, according to an investigation by the East Valley Tribune (http://www.eastvalleytribune.com). Ms. Misra notes, "ICE foots expenses related to operations but doesn't pay the salaries of the deputized officers." The ensuing racial profiling lawsuits drained away more taxpayer dollars. In the meantime, 911 response times increases and felony warrants went unserved, and violent crime went up.
|Immigration raids protest in North Carolina|
...Alamance County had paid around $4.8 million and Mecklenburg, $5.3 million for 287(gO in their first year. Litigation and loss of tax and business revenue further hurt the bottom line. Prince William County, Virginia had to make a withdrawal from its rainy day funds to kickstart its 287(g) initiative, according to a Brookings report."
A number of program evaluations found that, in general, it did not target hardcore criminals as it was intended to do, rather, undocumented people who were detained for minor traffic and misdemeanor offenses. Sometime, crime victims were swept up in the raids. Rightly, Ms. Misra points out, "Such policing can create a fear and distrust of law enforcement in immigrant communities, making it a tough environment to protect and serve; the UNC report concluded that there was 'little evidence that the 287(g) Program [was] reducing or deterring crime' in North Carolina."
|Undocumented immigration warning sign|
If the 287(g) Program is so expensive to maintain, what do jurisdictions actually get out of it, other than political cachet and federal resources? Supporters of the program argue that it "helps in 'attrition through enforcement'-by creating conditions that lead undocumented folks to self-deport, it stems the growth of the immigrant population." This seems to be a popular argument with major Republican party candidates. This is not entirely true, according to a Migration Policy Institute study that concluded "these programs do lead to 'short-term drops in Hispanic non-citizens, while neighboring counties experience no such decline.'" (http://www.migrationpolicy.org) The study was careful to mention "that there's no evidence to suggest that the people who moved out of these counties actually left the country." The report did not examine whether economic circumstances play a role or not.
An administration that has made the deportation of 11 million undocumented immigration will spur enrollment in the 287(g) program. Tom Jawetz, vice president at the Center for American Progress explained,
There are going to be jurisdictions out there that...are chomping at the bit to sign up not just for 287(g), but the most aggressive 287(g) agreements possible.
Both the amply criticized Secure Communities and the strengthening of the federal immigration enforcement mechanism, the much strengthened deportation engine created under President Obama is now going into overdrive. Dara Lind wrote in Vox, "it's rank-and-file immigration and police officers who will be in the driver's seat." (http://www.vox.com) Carlos Garcia's, the direct of the immigrants rights organization that opposed former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, future looks grim. He told Tanvi Misra, The country is going to realize what Arizona has lived through for a long time.