PLYMOUTH, MA — The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office said Friday it will terminate the 287(g) agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement which allows law enforcement officers to act as immigration agents.
This dramatic decision to end the 287(g) program comes as Massachusetts residents had planned to protest the ICE facility Thursday, demanding the end of immigration detention at Plymouth County Jail.
Participants planned to call for the release of those in detention, and an end to Trump-era immigration enforcement practices in Plymouth county, but due to a rain delay, moved the protest to Sept. 23.
Studies have shown that 287(g) greatly increases the harassment and terrorization of immigrant communities, and increases racial profiling by police by 900% to 1,000%.
Massachusetts was the only state in New England to have 287(g) contracts.
Laura Rótolo, staff counsel and community advocate at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, today released the following statement in response:
“Detained immigrants, their families, and communities have fought for over a decade to end the 287(g) program because it entangles state and local agencies with federal immigration enforcement. We are glad to see the Plymouth County contract end, and we call on the two remaining entities in Massachusetts that have such contracts — Barnstable County and the Department of Corrections — to end theirs and on lawmakers to do all they can to ensure other local officers throughout the state cannot work as de facto ICE agents.”
The ACLU says they have long advocated for the end of the 287(g) programs nationwide because they are wasteful and harmful to communities.
In May 2021, the Department of Homeland Security said it cut ties with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, including ending its 287(g) contract.