Friday, July 10, 2009

Collier Leads The Way With Immigration Program, Rambosk Says

A pair of Department of Homeland Security announcements Friday are a tribute to the effectiveness of 287(g) programs like Collier County’s, said Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk.

The 287(g) program allows state and local law enforcement agencies the ability to investigate, process, detain, and advise federal authorities when illegally-present foreign nationals have been arrested for criminal activity.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has standardized guidelines for 287(g) programs to provide uniform policies for participating law enforcement agencies throughout the country. Those standards largely reflect those already in place in Collier County’s 287(g) program, bringing the rest of the nations programs into compliance with the rules and guidelines under which Collier County operates.

Also on Friday, ICE announced eleven new 287(g) agreements with law enforcement agencies, a development that Sheriff Rambosk supports and views as an endorsement of the program and its posiitve impact on public safety.

“The tremendous partnership developed with ICE over the past 21 months has proven invaluable and continues to be a prudent measure in keeping our community safe,” Rambosk said.

Former Sheriff Hunter’s decision to initiate the 287(g) program and my decision to reinforce it with additional trained staff members has been exceptionally positive, safe and cost-effective for the people of Collier County. I am committed to the continued support of this important effort,” Rambosk continued.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, ICE has trained more than 1,000 officers operating under 66 local 287(g) agreements between DHS and law enforcement agencies nationwide. Since January 2006, these 287(g)-trained officers are credited with identifying more than 120,000 individuals, predominantly in jails, who are suspected of being in the country illegally.