Following Metro, Las Vegas ends its 287(g) agreement

metro and ice sitting in a tree
Activists protested Metro's agreement with ICE in Las Vegas in Februrary. (Nevada Current file photo)
Activists protested Metro’s agreement with ICE in Las Vegas in February. (Nevada Current file photo)

The City of Las Vegas jail is ending its 287(g) agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement a day after Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department announced it would be suspending its involvement.

“Our city attorney has determined that we will also suspend our 287(g) agreement with ICE and will not detain inmates on federal immigration holds due to a California court ruling. We’d like to remind the public that our city jail is for misdemeanors only,” the city tweeted out Thursday.

Immigration and civil rights’ groups like Arriba Las Vegas Workers Center, Make the Road Nevada, ACLU of Nevada, Mi Familia Vota and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada have been fighting to end the controversial program noting that incidents of low-level offenses like speeding or driving without a license often led to deportation. 

“The decision to end 287(g) means that a simple traffic ticket will no longer result in deportation and separation of families,” said Cecia Alvarado, the Nevada State Director of Mi Familia Vota.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo added on Wednesday that “LVMPD will continue to work with ICE at the Clark County Detention Center in removing persons without legal status who have committed violent crimes.”

“Sheriff Lombardo’s statement regarding LVMPD’s ability to fight violent crime despite the suspension of the 287(g) program, once again proves that the program was never needed by LVMPD to protect and serve our community,” said LaLo Montoya, the political director of Make the Road Nevada “For over a decade, the unconstitutional detention program resulted in the erosion of trust with our local police department as ICE unlawfully targeted our immigrant community.”

The issue has attracted the interest of local presidential candidates, which is not the first time candidates have weighed in on local matters

While applauding the work of local activists for pushing law enforcement to end their cooperation, former U.S. Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro also reiterated his support for a “nationwide end to 287(g) agreements.”

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris also tweeted out support for law enforcement ending the involvement saying “using local officers as immigration authorities erodes trust between law enforcement and those they serve.”

On Friday afternoon, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg also tweeted out support for the program ending.

 

Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.