Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway has signed an extension of a controversial immigration enforcement tool. Curtis Compton / AJC FILE PHOTO

Gwinnett sheriff extends controversial immigration program 287(g)

Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway has extended a controversial partnership with federal immigration authorities.

The partnership between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the county was announced Wednesday afternoon in a Facebook post. A spokesperson for the department, Shannon Volkodav, said the memorandum of understanding Conway signed this week to continue the 287(g) program does not have an expiration date.

The program, which has become a point of controversy in the county, lets deputies place ICE detainers on foreign-born arrestees who are charged with committing a local crime and brought to the county jail.

The sheriff’s statement said the program “helps make Gwinnett an unattractive community to conduct criminal activity for those who are in the country illegally.”

Others have lambasted the program for making immigrant communities less safe by discouraging them from reporting crimes.

Conway, who said he would continue the program as long as he was in office, is not seeking reelection.

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