Congressman Barrett is calling for an expansion of a federal immigration program known as 287G. The program trains local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law. Currently, only three counties in South Carolina are participating and Barrett wants it to help counties statewide.
Barrett says immigration issues are something that all officers may have to deal with at some point. The program allows local governments to enter into agreements with the Secretary of Homeland Security for special law enforcement training in immigration law.
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, state and local authorities in South Carolina spend around $186 million on illegal aliens each year for emergency medical care, education and incarceration.
(Barrett on officer training MP3 2:30)
Barrett on officer training
Barrett says illegal immigration has a notable impact on the state. “The Pew Center for Research said that illegal immigrants took 50,000 jobs away from South Carolinians in 2008,” says Barrett. “Now if you’ve got 270,000 people out of work, 50,000 jobs is a substantial amount of work for average, hard working South Carolinians.”
Barrett says the program has been a success in the state already. It has been implemented in York County, on the North Carolina border, as well as in Charleston and Beaufort Counties.
Barrett says he’s not asking for local governments to add officers. The program trains officers already on the payroll.