18 Texas sheriffs join forces with federal immigration officers

Department of Homeland Security (courtesy: MGN Online)

Eighteen counties in Texas have entered into new pacts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that allow local officers to enforce federal immigration laws, officials said Monday.

The agreement is called a 287(g) agreement. With 19 local entities on board, Texas accounts for almost one-third of the 60 pacts nationwide.

The arrangement between agencies effectively streamlines the removal of foreign-born people targeted by ICE. Counties will nominate officers for special training in jails to better identify immigrants who should be deported; in areas without such pacts, immigration enforcement is a federal matter.

ICE has made about 66,000 arrests since January, and 72 percent of those arrested had a criminal history.

The following counties announced their new 287(g) partnerships:

Aransas County

Calhoun County

Chambers County

DeWitt County

Galveston County

Goliad County

Jackson County

Lavaca County

Lubbock County

Matagorda County

Montgomery County

Refugio County

Smith County

Tarrant County

Victoria County

Walker County

Waller County

Wharton County

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