287(g) Gossip

By Jessica M. Vaughan on May 13, 2010

Sources inside and outside ICE report that Suzie Barr, the Napolitano crony who is now ICE Chief of Staff, has chosen the controversial former Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt to head up ICE's Office of State and Local Cooperation, pending completion of the background check. This is an interesting pick, because Hurtt is well-known as an outspoken critic of ICE/local partnerships who kept Houston as a sanctuary city, even as several of his officers lost their lives to illegal alien criminals who cycled repeatedly in and out of HPD custody without being reported to ICE. For more on Hurtt's background, see my previous blog on him.

As director of OSLC, Hurtt will be in charge of 287(g), which is ICE's premier law enforcement agency partnership program. When I told a local official who runs a 287(g) program that Hurtt had been chosen, the official's reaction was unprintable in a family blog like this one.

If nothing else, this staffing choice certainly clarifies the Obama administration's intentions with regard to ICE/local cooperation and that these relationships are not highly valued. We can expect to see further tinkering with the 287(g) program to try to control how the local agencies use it so that the locals don't stray beyond ICE's minimalist "worst of the worst criminals only" approach. This is likely to include hassling the agencies with 287(g) task force programs, which enable trained local officers to use immigration law tools in their investigations or to arrest illegal alien criminals not currently in jail. Another 287(g) program manager told me yesterday that he was recently informed by the OSLC that his successful 287(g) task force program was now under formal scrutiny from HQ and that despite a well-documented and unblemished track record to date, they would be asked to justify why it should be continued.