Cloud Reintroduces the 287(g) Program Protection Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congressman Michael Cloud (TX-27) reintroduced the 287(g) Program Protection Act to improve an existing program that allows state and local officials to partner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain and deport criminal illegal immigrants.

Congressman Cloud’s bill seeks to build on the proven-successful 287(g) program, which has helped local law enforcement secure and protect their communities by acting as a force multiplier for an already stretched thin ICE.

Under the 287(g) program, state and local law enforcement agencies can apply for a Memorandum of Agreement with ICE, allowing local law enforcement to help ICE detain and remove criminal illegal immigrants residing in the United States. However, the Biden Administration has not approved any new applications since the start of 2021, placing the program on pause.

To build upon this proven-successful program, Congressman Cloud’s 287(g) Program Protection Act would:

  • Require the Secretary of Homeland Security approve 287(g) applications for an agreement within 90 days, and notify Congress in advance of denying any applications for a compelling reason.
  • Prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security from terminating an existing 287(g) agreement without a compelling reason;
  • Require the Secretary of Homeland Security to publish an annual performance report that conducts oversight over the program; and
  • Require the Secretary of Homeland security to publish an annual recruitment strategy that discloses goals for recruiting law enforcement agencies to participate in the program.

Congressman Cloud was one of several lawmakers involved in negotiations with Leadership at the start of this Congress, which resulted in securing a floor vote on the Texas Border Plan. The 287(g) Program Protection Act is included in the Texas Border Plan and will likely be voted on in the House this Congress.

“Rather than empowering state and local law enforcement to work with ICE to detain and deport criminal illegal immigrants, the Biden administration has slow-walked the 287(g) program to reduce its effectiveness,” said Congressman Cloud. “The Biden administration’s carelessness about enforcing our immigration laws continues to benefit criminals while harming law-abiding Americans. My bill enables the proven-effective 287(g) program to be implemented widely to allow state and local law enforcement more control in keeping their communities safe.”

The 287(g) Program Protection Act is supported by NumbersUSA and Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

“NumbersUSA applauds Congressman Cloud for standing for the rule of law in immigration enforcement and insisting that communities have a right to be protected from criminal aliens. The 287(g) Program was created to allow state and local police departments to volunteer to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with identifying criminal aliens and detaining them for ICE to remove. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has sought to effectively abolish the program by cancelling 287(g) contracts and refusing to take identified criminal aliens into custody. Congressman Cloud’s 287(g) Program Protection Act would make clear Congress’ intent that the 287(g) program be preserved and fortified. Not only would the administration be required to respond to new 287(g) contract requests in a timely manner, they would no longer be allowed to terminate or deny contracts without documented, compelling reasons. Furthermore, state or local officers who had their 287(g) contract terminated by the Department of Homeland Security would have the right to appeal the decision.”Rosemary Jenks, NumbersUSA

“The Biden administration has repeatedly abused its authority by opening our southern border and refusing to enforce immigration laws in the interior of the country. A key part of their open borders agenda is functionally abolishing ICE by gutting resources, funding, and effective programs. One of those programs is 287(g), which allows cooperation between ICE and state and local law enforcement. This may be pleasing to radical activists, but it endangers American families and communities. To address this, Congressman Michael Cloud is taking a bold step to protect the 287(g) program from abuse by requiring 6 months advance public notice before terminating an existing 287(g) agreement, requiring new applications to be approved within 3 months, imposing stringent recruitment and reporting requirements, and providing state and local law enforcement the right to challenge terminations in court. These commonsense measures will make ICE think twice before pursuing more ideologically driven 287(g) terminations. FAIR wholeheartedly supports this bill and applauds Congressman Cloud for taking action.” — RJ Hauman, head of government relations and communications at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

“The 287(g) program is critical to keeping our communities safe. There aren’t enough ICE agents to respond to or seek out criminal aliens that are roaming freely in the United States. Sharing this authority with state and local law enforcement is a win for Americans. Local authorities often know where the criminal aliens live and utilizing their knowledge through the 287(g) authority makes sense. Similar to what is happening on our Southwest Border, I can tell you President Biden and his Administration do not have a desire to strengthen the 287(g) program, but gut it entirely. I speak for my entire force and community – thank you Congressman Cloud for introducing this bill.” — Sheriff Thad Cleveland, Terrell County, TX.

“In the midst of the Biden Administration’s refusal to properly enforce federal immigration law, they have further crippled enforcement efforts by ceasing new agreements under the 287(g) program, which allows local and state law enforcement to assist ICE. In light of the millions of illegal border crossings over the last two years, state and local participation in ICE’s mission is an essential part to combating this crisis and keeping Texans safe. Texans for Strong Borders strongly supports Congressman Michael Cloud’s efforts to ensure the expansion of this program by forcing DHS to approve new applicants within 90 days, providing public notice of any cessation of existing agreements within 180 days, and provide greater transparency about the agreements they approve or deny. It is astounding that such legislation is necessary while our border is open and human smuggling is at historic levels, but nonetheless these measures will certainly aid in the expansion of enforcement capacity.” — Chris Russo, President of Texans for Strong Borders.

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