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Washington and Lee Law Review




Articulated as a priority in President Trump’s executive orders, his administration has forcefully pushed to sign more 287(g) agreements (and more aggressive forms of those agreements) with local law enforcement agencies (LEAs). In the summer of 2017, the administration signed eighteen new agreements in the state of Texas alone. At the end of 2017, there were at least thirty-eight other LEAs interested in joining the program. Once these agreements come online, the result will be more local law enforcement officers deputized to enforce immigration laws than have ever existed in the history of the 287(g) program.

What are the implications of this deputization? On one level, we have had greater than fifteen years’ experience with 287(g) agreements, so we could expect this administration’s resurrection of the program to result in more of the same dynamic that we have seen in past years. But given this administration’s plans to significantly expand the program, together with other components of its aggressive immigration policies, this Article suggests that implementation of the 287(g) program under the Trump administration will look different, in significantly harsher ways, than under previous administrations.

This Article proceeds in three parts. Part II provides a brief history of the 287(g) program, including its iterations under different presidential administrations. Part III analyzes the role of these agreements in the Trump administration’s enforcement policies, focusing on their rapid expansion, especially in the border areas; this section also considers the implications of this rapid deputization. In Part IV I offer some concluding thoughts.

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Washington and Lee University School of Law

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