Rescind 287(g) Application In Monmouth County, NJ

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    Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders
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    National Day Laborer Organizing Network (New Jersey Regional)
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Dear Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders,

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned that Monmouth County Sheriff, Kim Guadagno, has applied to enlist state officers in the enforcement of federal immigration laws through the federal 287(g) program. We hope the Board of Chosen Freeholders will join us in opposing this misguided and counterproductive proposal.

Across the country, the 287(g) program has proven to be a costly and counterproductive initiative. Its many problems include the high unanticipated costs for local jurisdictions, deteriorating relations between police and the communities they are entrusted to protect, racial profiling of local residents, and numerous lawsuits over resulting discrimination.

Sheriff Guadagno attempts to justify the program by stating that her concern is the safety of Monmouth County residents, yet study after study disproves the myth that immigrants are more likely to commit crimes. In fact, Guadagnos own 287(g) application to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) indicates that a mere 1\% of the average jail population in Monmouth County jail is foreign born. Yet despite this, and the fact that local enforcement screens for immigration status when someone is charged with an indictable offense, Sheriff Guadagno plans to invest valuable resources on a failed program with a high human and economic cost. Indeed, studies have proven that 287(g) programs have the effect of deterring victims from coming forward and reporting crimes to proper law enforcement officials.

Monmouth County would be the first municipality in New Jersey to join the controversial 287(g) program. Other counties have rejected participation because the 287(g) program:

Endangers Public Safety. Communities are safer when people feel secure reporting crimes. People who fear that they or their family member could be deported are less likely to report crimes or serve as witnesses in prosecutions. Safe communities are built on the cooperation and trust between the police and the entire community;

Burdens Taxpayers. Implementing the 287g program during an economic recession can be economically disastrous for Monmouth County. Morris County, New Jersey recently rejected a similar proposal after the Sheriffs office estimated it would cost an estimated $1,331,876.00. The 287(g) program is known for unanticipated local costs that the federal government fails to reimburse as well as its indirect costs brought on by costly lawsuits for violations of the program; and

Results in Civil Rights Violations. Immigration law is extremely complicated even for the best-trained government officials and attorneys. Correction officers who are poorly trained and often over-worked, will likely use illegal profiling methods to inquire about immigration status. Sheriffs from around the country have expressed concern at exposing themselves to potentially costly lawsuits for violations of the complex guidelines that govern detention standards.

Local governments across the country have realized that enforcing federal immigration laws brings high economic and human costs we simply cannot afford. Please hold Sheriff Kim Guadagno accountable in protecting our communities and ask her to rescind the 287(g) application.