Floyd Sheriff Tim Burkhalter said Wednesday the program was still in the “preliminary stages of implementation” in his county.
“Our deputies will be trained by ICE before we actually start,” he said in an email. “We are currently awaiting this training.”
Bartow Sheriff Clark Millsap did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning. But in October he said his office had applied to join the program because he viewed it “as another tool for use in law enforcement. I see it as a way of being more proactive as the sheriff of Bartow County.”
The Georgia Department of Corrections also did not immediately reply to a request for comment Wednesday. But in October the department confirmed it had applied to join 287(g) the month before.
Supporters of the program see it as a way to remove violent criminals from their communities and to deter illegal immigration. Opponents argue it drives a wedge between local sheriff’s offices and immigrant communities, making unauthorized immigrants fearful of reporting crimes.
The Washington-based Center for American Progress, a left-leaning policy organization, released a report this week that measures the economic contributions of immigrants living in communities with 287(g) agreements and points out that many unauthorized immigrants live in mixed-status families.
“Families in the immigrant community are made up of citizens, legal residents, and those lacking legal status, complicating the argument that lawfully present immigrants and U.S. citizens have nothing to worry about when it comes to immigration enforcement,” the report says. “Make no mistake — policies that target immigrants without legal status also harm native-born citizens. Children living in mixed status families are particularly vulnerable after a parent’s detention and deportation, which most often results in the loss of the family’s primary earner.”