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Washington County Sheriff’s Office suspends the 287(g) Program due to coronavirus concerns

The program allows state and local police officers to collaborate with the federal government to enforce federal immigration laws.
Credit: Washington County Sheriff's Department

WASHINGTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — On Thursday (Apr. 16) The Washington County Sheriff’s Office announced they would be suspending their participation in the federal 287(g) immigration program.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 287(g) Program enhances the safety and security of communities by creating partnerships with state and local law police officers to enforce federal immigration laws.

The Sheriff's Office has participated in the federal 287(g) program since 2007 and says the decision to suspend the program is due to the time and energy they are currently having to dedicate to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Washington County Sheriff, Tim Helder believes it is a good program for the citizens of Washington County and stated, “Once everything settles down, and our community returns to some sort of normalcy, my staff and I will re-evaluate. I appreciate your continued support of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.”

RELATED: NWA Sheriff’s Offices Hold Meeting To Discuss 287(g) Program With ICE

RELATED: Washington County to release some inmates due to coronavirus concerns

The Sheriff's Office listed the following as some of the changes they have made since COVID-19:

  • Community Service Program – Suspended
  • Out of Custody Arraignments – Suspended
  • Out of State Extraditions - Suspended
  • Out of Custody Felony Citations - Authorized
  • On-Site Visitations – Suspended
  • Utilizing ankle monitors for approximately 75 Detainees
  • Restricted Attorney / Detainee in-person contact by utilizing video technology
  • Utilizing video technology for in-custody court hearings
  • Established isolation housing for new detainee intakes
  • Restricted ingress/egress from the facility

RELATED: Judge made Emergency Declaration for Washington County