Controversial 287(g) Program Causing Debate in Prince William County Once Again

May 20, 2020

Should local governments be involved in federal immigration enforcement? It’s an issue that’s once again in the spotlight in Prince William County.

It’s been more than a decade since Prince William County signed on to a contract committing local resources to help enforce federal immigration laws. Now that contract is about to expire, igniting yet another firestorm over immigration.

Credit ICE

Fredy Burgos with the Republican National Hispanic Assembly says the program, known as 287(g), has been a success. 

“Prince William County doesn’t have the blight that Fairfax County has when it comes to staying around the 7-Eleven looking for work," Burgos says. "Why? Because this 287(g) program has been successful.”

Elizabeth Guzman is a Democrat who represents Prince William County in the House of Delegates. 

“As a resident of this county, I have experienced firsthand the amount of discrimination" she explains. "How laws like this criminalize and demonize my community.”

Now that Democrats have a majority on the Prince William Board of Supervisors, Guzman and opponents of the 287(g) program are hoping to end the practice of using the resources of local government to enforce federal immigration laws.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.