ACLU Wants Dakota County Officials Not To Wait On Biden Administration to Immigration Enforcement

(KFOR NEWS  January 21, 2021)   The ACLU of Nebraska is calling on Dakota County’s sheriff and board of commissioners to end Nebraska’s only 287(g) agreement before the new presidential administration intervenes.  The Department of Homeland Security program allows local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

In partnership with Dakota County community partner Unity in Action, the ACLU of Nebraska has advocated for an end to the agreement since it was signed three years ago, citing concerns that the program emboldens racial profiling and harms community trust. Research has found that victims of crime and witnesses are less likely to come forward when law enforcement agents are known to be closely working with immigration officials.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the ACLU of Nebraska wrote to Dakota County Sheriff Chris Kleinberg and the Dakota County Board of Commissioners, reminding them the Biden Administration has pledged significant reform on this issue. That includes a promise to “end all the agreements entered into by the Trump Administration, and aggressively limit the use of 287(g).” The letter asks the community officials to provide their plans to end the program and rebuild trust with Latinx and Native residents.

Legal and Policy Counsel Rose Godinez said a voluntary end to the program would send the right message to the community.

“It’s long past time for Dakota County to end its role in what has truly been a hateful national war on immigrants by ending this agreement that fuels racial profiling and undermines public safety,” Godinez said. “It’s not too late to own up to the mistake but it soon will be if the federal government moves on this issue before local officials.”

Read the full letter here.

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