Police in Trump-supporting towns aid immigration officials in crackdown

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November 27, 2017

BENSALEM, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Dozens of police departments in the United States have been granted new powers, or are seeking them, to check the immigration status of people they arrest, aiding President Donald Trump’s broad crackdown on people living in the country illegally.

Since Trump took office in January, 29 departments have joined a special program under which they are deputized to perform some tasks of immigration agents, doubling its size in 10 months, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. And the administration hopes that is just the beginning.

Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show that the administration has also had contact with scores of additional jurisdictions about the program, and 38 of those told Reuters in interviews they have submitted applications for the program or are potentially interested in joining. 

The program, known as 287(g), deputizes local officers trained by ICE to use federal records to vet arrestees they suspect of being in the country illegally and then turn them over to federal agents if they are.

The Department of Homeland Security has said in the past that police forces taking part in the program have flagged tens of thousands of people for deportation.

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