A spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to identify the four counties that may join the program, citing his agency’s privacy rules.
“It is no secret that there are counties out there that have applied and that are interested in joining the program, and ICE will evaluate every county’s application on its individual merits and make a decision,” said ICE spokesman Bryan Cox. “But the policy of ICE is we don’t discuss things that are deliberative in nature. If counties are approved, we will make a public announcement on that and speak at that point.”
Critics have repeatedly called on the government to shut down the 287(g) program nationwide, saying it distracts police from more important crime-fighting duties. Supporters say it is an effective way to crack down on illegal immigration.
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In an executive order he issued in January, President Donald Trump called for an expansion of the program. Last month, ICE announced 18 new 287(g) agreements across Texas, bringing the nationwide total to 60.