The ACLU of Nevada applauds the recent decision by the Mesquite Police Department’s not to enter into a 287(g) program. Mesquite would have become the second city in Nevada to implement a 287(g) program after the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police signed onto the program in October 2008.

The ACLU of Nevada has consistently opposed the 287(g) program, which allows local law enforcement agencies to enforce national immigration laws and has urged that law enforcement agencies decline to participate.

Immigrants’ trust in local law enforcement is destroyed when police act as immigration agents. Without assurances that they will not be subject to an immigration investigation, detention, and possible deportation, many immigrants will not come forward with vital information about crimes. Everyone’s safety, including U.S. citizens', is put in jeopardy when immigrants don’t feel safe to come forward with critical information when crimes are committed against them, their families, or members of the community at large. Furthermore, 287(g) is an unfunded program which requires local police agencies to spend their own money and pull officers off the street to work full-time as immigration agents. The program therefore creates an unnecessary drain on police resources – resources that could be devoted to fighting crime and protecting the community.

The ACLU of Nevada urges the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to follow Mesquite’s example and discontinue the 287(g) program in Las Vegas.