Washington, D.C. (March 20, 2018) — As the Trump administration ramps up immigration enforcement, more local law enforcement agencies are collaborating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to enforce federal immigration laws through the program known as 287(g). Last year alone, 29 new jurisdictions enrolled in the program. Currently 75 communities across the United States are training local police to act as immigration agents through 287(g) agreements. And additional an 27 communities are considering joining the program.
A new report from the Center for American Progress released today analyzes the demographic, economic, and fiscal contributions of immigrants in places with 287(g) agreements. The report, “What’s at Stake: Immigrant Impacts in 287(g) Jurisdictions,” contains detailed demographic, economic, and fiscal impact statistics for 40 287(g) jurisdictions. Immigrants—both documented and undocumented—are long-time residents of these communities. They own and operate businesses; infuse the economy with spending; and generate tax revenue—all of which would disappear if they were forced to leave or forcibly removed.
“We know that when local law enforcement agencies take on a roll in immigration enforcement, it has far reaching consequences beyond those lacking legal status,” said Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, senior policy analyst of Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress and author of the report. “287(g) agreements have a notorious past with racial profiling and other challenges and can prove costly to localities that are already facing difficult budget decisions. This report quantifies a few of the more straightforward, measurable contributions immigrants make in places with 287(g) agreements.”
The data in the report are presented in two sections. The first section includes core demographic information on immigrant residents of jurisdictions with 287(g) agreements—number of immigrants, both overall and unauthorized; how long they have lived in the United States; and estimates of mixed status families. The report’s second section quantifies the economic and fiscal contributions of immigrants who live and work in jurisdictions with 287(g) agreements. A rich appendix includes data points for each jurisdiction individually.
In the 40 jurisdictions with 287(g) agreements analyzed in the report, more than 1.5 million individuals live in mixed-status families. In all of the communities analyzed, the majority of immigrants have lived there 10 years or longer.
Immigrant households in these jurisdictions collectively contribute $65.9 billion in local spending power, $17.3 billion in federal tax revenue annually, and $7.1 billion in state and local tax revenue. In 13 of the jurisdictions covered, immigrants own more than 1,000 businesses that could be threatened by 287(g) agreements. In some jurisdictions, the impact would be greater: In Hudson County, New Jersey (which recently did away with its agreement), Prince William County, Virginia, and Gwinnett County, Georgia, immigrants own more than one-third of all businesses. When counted separately, households with undocumented immigrants in these jurisdictions contribute $14.7 billion in local spending power, $3.1 billion in federal taxes annually, and $1.7 billion in state and local taxes.
Jurisdictions with 287(g) agreements range widely in terms of their demographics; they are scattered across the nation, in places urban and rural, and have immigrant communities both large and small. For the most part, 287(g) jurisdictions are largely in the Southeast and Texas. In fact, Texas has the highest number of agreements, with 24 counties enrolled, and the immigrant population there ranges from 2 percent in Goliad, Texas, to 16 percent in Tarrant County, Texas.
Georgia follows with seven agreements, then North Carolina with six, Florida with five, and South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Arizona with four. Maryland, New Jersey, and Oklahoma all have three each. And currently, in Pennsylvania, eight communities are considering 287(g) agreements, though the state has none now.
As the number of 287(g) agreements multiplies under the Trump administration—often in less populous places, both in terms of overall population and immigrant populations—the report concludes that community leaders, local law enforcement, and local legislators should consider the human and economic impact before signing up.
To read What’s at Stake: Immigrant Impacts in 287(g) Jurisdictions click here.
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”