IRLI Responds to ACLU’s Request that DHS Deny the Rhode Island State Police’s Pending 287(g) Agreeme

Press Releases

August 20, 2009

In a letter released earlier this week, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) responded to the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) attempt to prevent the Rhode Island State Police’s request for a 287(g) Agreement with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).

On July 21, 2009, the ACLU sent a letter to William Riley, ICE’s Acting Director of the Office of State and Local Coordination, requesting that ICE deny the Rhode Island State Police Department’s application for a 287(g) agreement. State and local law enforcement agencies, throughout the country, enter into 287(g) agreements with ICE. These agreements give state and local law enforcement federal training and resources to enforce federal immigration laws. Moreover, 287(g) agreements give state and local law enforcement the means to protect the United States as first responders when there is an incident or attack.

The ACLU claims approval of such a 287(g) agreement will encourage racial profiling in Rhode Island and have a disparate impact on its local communities. In crafting their argument, the ACLU states the 2004 Rhode Island Racial Profiling Prevention Act was adopted to ensure racial profiling by law enforcement would be eliminated.The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has responded by drafting a letter in response. In the letter, IRLI states the ACLU’s claims are unwarranted and unsupported. When asked for comment, Michael Hethmon, Executive Director of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), explained 287(g) agreements actually prevent state and local law enforcement agencies from engaging in racial profiling. Mike stated, “State and local agencies that enter into 287(g) agreements require extensive training in lawfully enforcing federal immigration laws.” “If anything, 287(g) agreements prevent racial profiling,” said Mike.

In their letter, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) also responded the ACLU’s misstatement of the facts in a recent Rhode Island District Court decision—Estrada v. Rhode Island State Police. Mike Hethmon commented on the ACLU’s factual misrepresentation of Estrada, stating the “ACLU mischaracterized the case completely in an attempt to mislead both ICE and the American public.”

“The Estrada court’s opinion accurately characterizes the facts in that case,” continued Mike. “Nowhere in their opinion did the Estrada court find the facts of the case remotely similar to the ACLU’s portrayal its letter to William Riley.” Mike hopes the Immigration Reform Law Institute’s response will set the record straight and aid the Rhode Island State Police in obtaining a 287(g) agreement.

IRLI’s responses to the ACLU’s letters can be found at

For further information, contact IRLI at 202-232-5590 or [email protected]

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