(Milwaukee, Wisc.) – This week Wisconsin Democrats, Representative Mark Pocan and Senator Chris Larson took to Twitter to demand the ending of 287(g), a discriminatory federal program that turns local law enforcement into immigration agents, with the power to investigate immigration status and separate immigrant families. President Biden promised to end the 287(g) program on the campaign trail in 2020, but no action has been taken.
Rep. Mark Pocan tweeted, “It’s time to end Trump-era contracts between local law enforcement and ICE. 287(g) is a broken, racist relic of the past.”
Wisconsin State Sen. Chris Larson added, “Nobody should be afraid of being separated from their family after a simple traffic stop. Unfortunately, the 287(g) program makes that a possibility for immigrant families in communities across the U.S. – including 8 counties here in Wisconsin. It’s time to end 287(g)!”
Voces de la Frontera (Voces), Wisconsin’s largest grassroots immigrant rights organization, applauds U.S. Rep. Pocan and State Sen. Larson for using their platforms to champion for immigrant rights by calling for the end of 287(g) and calls on other local elected officials to follow suit.
Under the Trump Administration, 287(g) was expanded to be used to facilitate Trump’s mass deportation machine and terrorize immigrant communities and communities of color. 287(g) was implemented in 2017 without public input in these eight Wisconsin counties: Waukesha, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Marquette, Brown, Fond du Lac, Lafayette and Waushara (Learn more here). Together, President Biden and DHS Secretary Mayorkas, who is the first Latino and immigrant confirmed to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security, are on track to continue and even worsen this legacy, and must take immediate action to reverse course. According to the latest ACLU research report, License to Abuse: How ICE’s 287(g) Program Empowers Racist Sheriffs and Civil Rights Violations, “for the Biden administration, the continuation of these partnerships is not only irrational and counterproductive to its goals, it is an embarrassment.”
In a statement Christine Neumann Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera said,
“President Joe Biden and US Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas must end the racist and xenophobic 287(g) program immediately. President Biden made ending 287(g) a promise on the campaign trail and that motivated many Latinxs and immigrants to turn out to vote in 2020.
President Biden holds in his hands the power to end this program through executive action. How can the President go overseas and say we are a democracy when his administration continues to uphold a discredited program that legalizes racial profiling, promotes xenophobia, undermines public safety and separates families? Given the failure of Democrats to deliver on immigration reform in Congress in 2021 and the recent federal court decision by a right wing judge that makes all 11 million immigrants a priority for deportation, ending 287(g) must be a urgent priority for President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas.
Inaction is unacceptable. Voces de la Frontera is proud to co-sponsor with Never Again Action a national day of action on July 25 in Washington DC to put pressure on the Biden Administration to provide protections from far right extremism and dismantle the shameful 287g program that has a long record of civil rights and human rights abuses.”