Five Things About Homeland Security That Nobody Is Discussing: #3

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#3: State and Local Immigration Enforcement Works

Right now, across the country, 287(g) programs are making meaningful progress in tackling the immigration problem. Under 287(g) auspices, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) trains state and local law enforcement to act like ICE agents. In Davidson County, TN, it helped law enforcement get 90 gang leaders off the streets. And across the nation, criminal aliens are not only taken off the streets through 287(g), but also taken out of the country. In this way, this program is making communities safer by helping to stop crime and acting as a force multiplier for an under-resourced ICE.

But 287(g) isn’t the only grassroots immigration enforcement program that is working. Around the country, state and local governments are beginning to do more in their communities to tackle the program. Heritage visiting fellow Matt Mayer took a long look at what states and locals are doing and discussed how they can do more. He emphasizes:

With the onslaught of legal challenges from interest groups that drive the cost of reform ever higher, states have become more cautious in order to preserve what little that remains of their budgets after the economic downturn (and their years of big spending). States and localities have won all legal challenges that have reached federal appellate courts or state supreme courts. These legal victories should embolden states and localities to continue their push to curtail the migration of illegal aliens into their jurisdictions with tough laws against employing, housing, and aiding illegal aliens and even tougher laws criminalizing all aspects of human trafficking.

These efforts, however, continue to undergo attacks by groups looking to derail meaningful immigration enforcement, Congress and the Obama Administration should avoid these pressures and make sure that the right of state and local governments to enforce immigration is preserved.

“Five Things About Homeland Security That Nobody Is Discussing” is a series of posts discussing aspects of protecting the homeland. For a comprehensive look at the big picture in homeland security, enroll today in The Heritage Foundation’s Homeland Security University. Click here for details.