Analysis: Federal Agencies Slow-Walking President’s Immigration Policies

‘If they ‘don’t have the bandwidth’ it’s because they’ve failed the president in carrying out his orders…’

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Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan/IMAGE: ABC News via YouTube

(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) President Trump has called for increased use of the 287(g) program, which provides for greater cooperation between Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local law enforcement.

But the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) finds that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE itself do not seem to be moving very quickly to implement the president’s order.

An analysis conducted by the Center finds that sheriffs in the state of Florida have not been provided with the tools to make that cooperation happen.

The author of the analysis was Dan Cadman, a fellow at the Center, who is perplexed at the lack of action from federal agencies that are under President Trump’s direction.


“Under the 287(g) program, everyone wins: ICE gets a force multiplier, and local law enforcement gets criminals off the street,” said Cadman. “And yet in Florida, we’re hearing that sheriffs lack the bandwidth to comply with President Trump’s directive to expand the 287(g) program. Why isn’t DHS making that bandwidth?”

Even ICE doesn’t seem to be moving aggressively, despite Obama-era constraints being loosened after Trump became president. The “jail model” which allows criminal aliens to be detained and then removed by federal law enforcement is not seeing much growth.

And at Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the total number of new 287(g) programs is zero, despite it being strongly effective against human trafficking operations – drawing on the expertise of state police and local law enforcement.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has been encouraging sheriffs in other Florida counties to join the 287(g) program, or at least an abbreviated version of it that his office has developed, which he calls the “Warrant Service Officer Initiative.”

According to Gualtieri, sheriffs might have to settle for the less expansive version out of necessity.

“ICE does not have the capacity to expand the 287(g) program,” he explained. “They just don’t have the bandwidth to do it. They don’t have the money. They don’t have the resources. They can’t put the training on. So, the 287(g) program is legal. It’s proper. It works. But there’s no capacity to do it.”

The analysis of Homeland Security’s inaction outlines the Executive Order issued by Trump which directs federal agencies to work with local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws, specifically Section 10, “Federal-State Agreements.”

“That’s straightforward, compelling language directly from the president of the United States to his subordinates in the executive branch … if they ‘don’t have the bandwidth’ it’s because they’ve failed the president in carrying out his orders,” Cadman writes.

Calling 287(g) “a great program,” Cadman added that it’s “hard to fathom” why the agency has been so slow to build it back up. At the end of the analysis, he asks why both DHS and ICE aren’t obeying the president’s directive and making the bandwidth available.

It’s possible Trump himself has asked the same questions. Dissatisfaction with Homeland Security’s soft stance on immigration appears to have motivated the president to request Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation.

Last week, she acceded to his demand.

Perhaps her successor will be more interested in implementing the president’s policies.