Brooksville, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis joined the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to announce their implementation of the 287(g) immigration enforcement program. At the event, the Governor called for increased participation from county sheriffs in various federal immigration programs and made a request to the Florida Legislature to address immigration enforcement during the 2019 legislative session.
“I am asking the legislature to send me a bill during the 2019 legislative session that addresses sanctuary cities and counties in Florida,” said Governor DeSantis. “We take our responsibility to protect our citizens, foster safe communities and uphold the rule of law very seriously. I am also calling on more local law enforcement agencies to work with the federal government to ensure that accountability and justice are being upheld throughout our state. I applaud Sheriff Nienhuis and Hernando County for taking part in this program.”
Photo Credit: Governor Ron DeSantis Press Office
In addition to his request to the Florida Legislature, Governor DeSantis is directing the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) to review the 287(g) program and prepare a strategy to participate. The Governor has asked FDC Secretary Mark Inch to identify facilities within the Department of Corrections system where the implementation of federal immigration enforcement programs would be most beneficial. He is also asking the Florida Sheriffs Association to encourage increased participation in programs that facilitate greater cooperation in immigration enforcement with the federal government.
The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office joins the Clay, Collier and Pasco County Sheriff’s Offices, as well as the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, in implementing this federal program. This program is an agreement between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the respective law enforcement office that assists with the identification and removal of criminal aliens. The program establishes guidelines and conditions for ICE to gather citizenship information and the immigration status of a detainee to make a final determination of further proceedings and allows personnel of the respective sheriff’s office to be selected, trained and approved by ICE to perform certain functions as a Designated Immigration Officer within the detention facility of the local law enforcement agency.
On January 25th, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order regarding the enforcement of federal immigration law. The executive order directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to engage with state and local jurisdictions to strengthen participation in the 287(g) program.