A Statement by Sheriff McDonald on the 287(g) Program And Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Department (PCSD) and Federal Office for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have reached agreement on participation in the 287(g) program. The pact provides for information sharing between the agencies and training for chosen officers within the correctional facility. ICE officials will remain the sole authority on what case priorities warrant further review or any actions taken regarding the immigration status of any individual in our care.

Our relationship with ICE officials and this Department is not new. We have partnered with federal agencies, including ICE, through at least four Presidents, and five Sheriffs.

The core mission of PCSD remains the same -- care and custody. We anticipate 3-4 officers will receive training this summer and I do not expect any changes in our communication methods to begin until the fall of 2017.

In our ongoing efforts to improve cooperation between all levels of public safety, it is important we do not lose sight of our obligation to respect the civil rights of all.

Almost no one comes to our facility unless they have been arrested by police, or has been sent to us after arraignment before a judge or magistrate, where they were afforded full constitutional protections. Concurrently, anyone identified by ICE for further action will receive any and all protections afforded through existing federal immigration laws.

It is vital to our role as jail keepers to know exactly the identity and status of each of the nearly 7,000 individuals we will hold in any year at our correctional facility.

It should also be made clear what we are not doing. We will not be “hitting” the streets to round up undocumented individuals. We will not assign deputies to Brockton or our towns to act as ICE agents, nor will we be engaged in so-called racial or ethnic profiling.

I intend to continue to keep an open line of communication. My commitment and obligation is to protect all the residents of Plymouth County, documented, undocumented, legal or illegally here, from criminal offenders.