Examining 287(g): The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement in Immigration Law
Testimony of Muzaffar Chishti, Director of MPI's Office at New York University Law School, before the House Homeland Security Committee.
"Mister Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Committee:
My name is Muzaffar Chishti, and I am the Director of the Migration Policy Institute’s Office at New York University School of Law. Thank you for inviting me to testify before your Committee on “Examining 287(g): The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement in Immigration Law.”
The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is a non-partisan, non-profit think tank that studies migration and the management of migration systems worldwide, and one of its key areas of focus is U.S. immigration policy. Last month, MPI issued a report which called on the federal government to reassert its authority and willingness to enforce immigration law, while recognizing the discrete co-operative role that states and localities could play in important federal enforcement efforts. MPI also recently issued a report on the National Fugitive Operations Program, another component of the interior enforcement strategy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In that report, we concluded that the fugitive operations program had strayed far from its initial mandate and ICE’s core priorities, and issued a series of recommendations to restore integrity and bring efficacy to the program. We are currently engaged in an in-depth study of the 287(g) program; we have been studying the 67 Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) that the federal government has signed with various state and local government agencies for immigration-related enforcement. As part of that work, we are collecting data and will be doing site visits over the next several months in preparation for a comprehensive report expected to be released later this year. Among other things, we are seeking to understand the character, implementation and impacts of the 287(g) agreements. The latter include their costs and benefits to national, state and local law enforcement and to local communities. What follows are some preliminary conclusions based primarily on our examination of the MOAs themselves and publicly available data. [...]"