Insider Advantage Georgia
287(g) Immigration Program Being Hotly Debated
by Phil Kent | Sep 17, 2019
Two sheriffs of large Georgia counties just signed new agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to participate in the 287(g) program, named for part of a 1996 federal law. Sheriffs Butch Conway of Gwinnett County and Neil Warren of Cobb County say the renewals enhance the ability their departments to assist ICE in locating and deporting those here in this country illegally. If illegal aliens are arrested for a serious crime and discovered, via 287(g), to be here illegally, they are given to ICE for deportation.
Conway’s decision has led to attacks on him, his department and Dustin Inman Society President D.A. King. The anti-illegal immigration activist was attacked after Conway invited him to speak about the benefits of the Gwinnett jail’s 287(g) immigration program at a community meeting hosted by Gwinnett District 4 Commissioner Marlene Fosque.
The idea of the community meeting was to air differing views about the public safety program but, in the words of Conway, it turned into “unfair and unwarranted name-calling and misleading innuendo.”
For example, Fosque accused King of “spewing hatred and bigotry and racism.” (King’s organization is named after 16-year-old Dustin Inman, who was killed in an Ellijay car crash by an illegal alien.)
King said his purpose was to inform the public about 287(g) and “lend (his) experienced knowledge on how to respond to the far-left race-baiting anti-enforcement lobby that is funded by corporate-America.” And Conway praised King, saying he “showed professionalism and restraint during the meeting.”
“It should be noted that after being instructed to stick with the topic of 287(g), it was a campaigning (District 99 State Rep.) Brenda Lopez Romero who felt the need to present false ad hominem, personal attacks on me because she has no rational argument for not using every available tool to reduce crime in Gwinnett, including 287(g),” King told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “The goal (of) the illegal alien lobby, which includes the cowardly groups that dropped out and the three anti-enforcement substitute panelists, was never to argue on 287(g) — it was to marginalize anyone who supports the program.”
Everett Robinson, an African-American board member of the Dustin Inman Society, also says he doesn’t know a man “less deserving of the hateful names (King) is being called.”
In neighboring Cobb County, Warren— who is running for-re-election next year– is also the target of criticism and heated rhetoric. “We’re living under such a hostile political environment against immigrants in general,” says Carlos Garcia of the Pro-Immigrant Alliance of Cobb County.” Garcia claims the program “racially profiles,” a charge the sheriff denies. And Warren cites statistics that 287(g) is protecting citizens by removing dangerous criminals and that it is effectively addressing gang crime.