The former president of the United States, Donald Trump, recruited sheriffs and other local security forces to arrest undocumented immigrants, which caused terror in migrant communities in different parts of the country, as revealed on Tuesday by The Washington Post.
The newspaper recounted the scope of the Trump administration’s actions (2017-2021) to detain and deport undocumented immigrants living in the United States, in some cases for years.
According to this information, Trump resorted to a controversial federal agreement called 287 (g) and in which police forces are given the ability to question and detain undocumented immigrants, a task that normally falls to federal authorities.
Since the creation of that agreement, migrant defense groups have denounced that the alliance between federal and local authorities terrorizes migrant communities and puts the undocumented in a defenseless situation since they cannot ask the police for help for fear of be stopped.
The scope of that 287 (g) agreement was limited in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama (2009-2017), but after arriving at the White House in 2017 Trump began recruiting sheriffs known for their tough policy toward migrants, according to dozens of internal government emails obtained by the Post.
Specifically, in February 2017, the then Secretary of Homeland Security, John F. Kelly, sent instructions to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE), in charge of detaining migrants within the United States, to expand the 287 (g) convention “to the highest degree possible.”
Soon after, ICE began requesting meetings with sheriffs and other local agencies to which it sent propaganda materials to ask them to join the agreement, according to the Post.
This policy implemented by Trump joins others that were especially harsh on immigrants and refugees, such as the separation of families who crossed the border with Mexico irregularly.