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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has introduced a new initiative in an attempt to expand local law enforcement participation in its deportation agenda.
The program would task local law enforcement officers to act as arms of ICE by conducting immigration arrests.
According to the announcement, only one jurisdiction in Florida has agreed to join the program thus far, but the agency is actively soliciting other jurisdictions nationwide to join as well.
Announcement of this program likely will further stir debate on the Trump administration’s hardline and punitive immigration policies– particularly among the more than 20 Democrats vying for the nomination to take on Trump next year in the presidential election.
“This program is just the latest scheme by ICE to enlist local police in its abusive deportation agenda. The agency explicitly aims to subvert the will of local communities that have passed ordinances to prevent exactly this kind of cooperation between police and ICE. Participants would be forced to carry the financial burden of ICE’s aggression, potentially costing the state millions in operational expenses and legal fees,” said Lorella Praeli, deputy political director at the American Civil Liberties Union. “ICE and the other agencies complicit in Trump’s deportation force may feel they are above the Constitution — but neither they, nor local police, are exempt from search and seizure laws. With this program, ICE is asking local law enforcement to risk violating the Fourth Amendment. We urge local law enforcement to resist this dangerous proposal and stand by their commitment to the communities they serve.”
Part of the Bill of Rights, the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizures.