287(g) agreements are contracts between ICE and local law enforcement agencies that allow local authorities to act as immigration officials within their jurisdictions. This includes questioning people about their immigration status and detaining people on immigration charges.
287(g) agreements expand the reach of ICE by involving more agents in carrying out their work, and harnessing the resources of local agencies. They also lead to numerous problems within communities as rates of racial profiling and civil rights violations against people of color increase. This makes it harder for undocumented community members to be in public space and participate in activities where they may have to give their personal information or law enforcement may be present.
Currently 80 law enforcement agencies in 21 states have 287(g) agreements with ICE. Every year tens of thousands of people are detained and deported through the 287(g) program. More information about current 287(g) agreements can be found on ICE’s website.
Warrant Service Officer Program
The Warrant Service Officer program is a very new expansion of the 287(g) program that requires fewer resources and less effort from local agencies. The program is geared toward rural law enforcement agencies that don’t have the capacity to send agents to the more extensive training required for a 287(g) agreement. It allows participating agencies to arrest and detain people who have been issued warrants by ICE, even if local measures aimed at limiting the power of ICE in the area, such as sanctuary city policies, are in place.
The Warrant Service Officer Program, created in May 2019, represents a further expansion of ICE’s capacity and reach, especially to communities with fewer resources. 10 counties have already signed up for the new program in the first month of its existence. More information about current Warrant Service Officer agreements can be found on ICE’s website.
Intergovernmental service agreements, also known as IGSAs or “bedding agreements,” are contracts between the federal government and state or local governments where local agencies agree to provide space in their jails and prisons for the detention of undocumented people. The detention centers are paid by the federal government for each person they hold on immigration charges, which financially incentivizes signing on to the program. Without an IGSA, people can only be held at non-ICE facilities for 48 hours for issues relating to immigration status, and local officials can choose whether or not to honor these requests for detention, or “detainers” from ICE. IGSAs allow ICE to utilize the existing expansive prison infrastructure across the country, greatly increasing the federal government’s capacity to detain undocumented people. 67% of ICE detainees are housed in facilities with IGSAs.