Gwinnett County Commissioner Marlene Fosque will hold a “community engagement discussion” about the 287(g) program, which gives the sheriff’s office certain powers of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office re-authorized their participation in the program in May, and Sheriff Butch Conway has praised the program as a tool to reduce and prevent crime. Participating agencies, including the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, can check jail inmates’ immigration status and and ensure those who should be held for federal authorities are. Local charges and sentences must be addressed before an inmate is taken into federal custody.
Opponents of Gwinnett’s participation in the program say that it leads to racial profiling by law enforcement and fear of police in immigrant communities.
Fosque’s event to discuss the program is intended to “ educate and provide information ... about the benefits and impacts of the 287(g) program from varying local perspectives,” according to a county release. There will be six panelists: three discussing the benefits and three discussing the “impacts” of the program. There will also be a nonpartisan moderator. Local legislators and elected officials as well as representatives from the sheriff’s office and local public safety agencies will also be in attendance.
The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center auditorium on July 31. The audience is limited to 200 members of the public. Those interested in attending must register at https://287gdiscussion.eventbrite.com.
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