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US Immigration Agency Signs Law Enforcement Deal With 18 Texas Counties

© AP Photo / ICE / US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Sputnik International
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency entered into an agreement with 18 counties in the state of Texas that will allow local law enforcement officers to carry out the same functions as federal immigration officers, according to Acting ICE Director Tom Homan.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency entered into an agreement with 18 counties in the state of Texas that will allow local law enforcement officers to carry out the same functions as federal immigration officers, Acting ICE Director Tom Homan said at an event in the state.

"By partnering with ICE’s 287(g) program, each of these counties will be able to identify criminal aliens in their jails and turn them over to ICE, once their criminal process is complete," Homan stated on Monday.

In February, then-Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly authorized that the partnership authorized by section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act be expanded to any willing and qualified state or local law enforcement jurisdiction.

The program allows local law enforcement officers, including police and sheriffs, to identify people they have already arrested as being in the United States illegally, and detain them in local jails for possible deportation from the country.

Officers participating in the program must be US citizens, complete a background check, have experience in their current position and have no pending disciplinary actions.

ICE noted that it now has 60 active 287(g) agreements, nearly double the number of active programs in 2016.

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