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Do Las Vegas Police cooperate with ICE in immigration enforcement?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jan 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

Yes. Fresh fears are pervading Las Vegas's immigrant population as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) begins training seven more officers to serve as immigration agents at the Clark County Detention Center (CCDC) downtown. These officers will participate in the 287(g) program, which allows law enforcement the right to investigate an arrestee's immigration status and notify Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Meanwhile, many immigrants are voicing their concerns that this program serve only to make it easier to deport undocumented immigrants, even if they were arrested for minor, non-violent crimes.

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This latest move by the LVMPD is an expansion of its decade-old partnership with ICE. As part of this partnership, specially trained officers at the CCDC may execute limited federal immigration enforcement functions. Specifically, they may run an immigration check on anyone who gets arrested and booked at the CCDC. And if their status comes back as undocumented, ICE may commence deportation proceedings.

LVMPD claims that officers will still not conduct “task force”-type sweeps of suspected undocumented immigrants. But anyone who gets arrested is fair game for removal.

The Obama Administration prioritized nabbing repeat criminal offenders who are undocumented. But the Trump administration is widening its focus to anyone who is undocumented. As Deputy Chief Richard Forbus explained, "We no longer, under the new administration, actually require a conviction to put someone in [deportation] proceedings. The only thing you have to fear is if you get arrested for a criminal offense.”

Despite the Trump Administration's harsher stance on undocumented aliens, the 287(g) program screened only 1,465 inmates in 2017. That is actually a lower number than then 1,470 screened in 2016, before Trump was president.

Once trained and deputized, the seven new officers will serve as part-time relief to the four full-timers currently executing the 287(g) program. By the end of this year their training should be finished.

For more information, see the Las Vegas Review-Journal article.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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