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By Liz Mineo/Daily News staff
MetroWest Daily News
Posted Aug 01, 2008 @ 12:47 AM

FRAMINGHAM -
When police sent two officers for training to enforce immigration laws last summer, opponents of illegal immigration praised the move and advocates decried it, saying it would lead to sweeps, raids and arrests.
Nearly a year after the 287(g) agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, police said only three men have been arrested under the program.
All three hailed from Brazil and were connected to violent gangs. They have been deported.
For the police, the three arrests since August last year, when the agreement was approved, highlight the department's efforts to use the program by focusing only on dangerous foreign-born criminals - not as a means for sweeping immigration enforcement.
"There are people who think we should expand the 287(g) program and use it every time we come across an illegal immigrant," said Lt. Paul Shastany, spokesman for the department. "We're not doing that. We're using the program as an investigative tool, not as an immigration-enforcement tool."
Offered by ICE to state and local law enforcement agencies, the program trains and authorizes officers to act as immigration officials. But it is designed to focus on criminal aliens - foreigners suspected of a state crime that is more than a traffic offense - and doesn't allow officers to conduct random street operations, investigate day laborers or question the immigration status of anyone.
Framingham Police are only doing what the program calls for, Shastany said.
"We're using it to unmask criminals who are preying upon other immigrants and who otherwise would be undetected," he said. "Now we can find out their real identities through the databases, and remove them before they commit a crime."
Prior to the program, police didn't have access to federal databases with information about criminal aliens, who might be violent felons, human or drug smugglers, gang members or immigration fugitives. Many of them use aliases and their names don't show up in state and FBI databases, which are most often used by local police departments.
According to Framingham Police, the three men arrested under the program were Brazilian natives Marcilei Caetano, 24, and Joelson G. Fonseca, 21, both formerly of Framingham. Police said Caetano and Fonseca were local members of a violent gang known in Rio de Janeiro "Amigos dos Amigos," or Friends of Friends, also known by its initials A.D.A.
The third man, according to Framingham police, Bruno Cesar DeOliveira, 19, was arrested in Framingham on drug charges. He was deported to Brazil, where he was later murdered.
Across the country, other law enforcement agencies have used the program extensively. In Orange Country, Calif., between January and March 2007, officers conducted 1,508 interviews that resulted in 1,004 immigration detainers, according to immigration officials. Of those, 659 were for felony charges and 71 were affiliated with street gangs.
A report published in The City Paper in Nashville said that in Davidson County, Tenn., more than 3,500 illegal immigrants were identified by the program in 2007. Of those, 60 were alleged gang members and several have committed violent crimes, including murder. In both places immigrant advocates have criticized the agencies, saying they have used the program as an immigration dragnet.
In MetroWest, immigrant supporters shared those concerns when they first learned Framingham Police had entered an agreement with ICE. Ilton Lisboa, an advocate for Brazilian immigrants, acknowledged the program created some controversy within the Brazilian community.
"I was really concerned when I first heard about it," said Lisboa, who works in Marlborough and has a radio program in Framingham. "But the Framingham Police have been very careful. They focus only on criminals and people involved in violent crimes and they're not using the program to identify illegal immigrants. I'd be the first one to criticize the police if they start enforcing immigration laws."
Other advocates still worry the program spreads fear among immigrants.
"It opens the door for abuses and racial profiling," said Fausto Da Rocha, executive director of the Brazilian Immigrant Center in Allston. "I was very struck when I learned the Framingham Police had decided to do that program given the large Brazilian population that lives there."
In a previous interview, Police Chief Steven Carl said he signed the agreement so the town could be better prepared to fight rising gang activity in the immigrant community. The two officers who received the training are members of the police street crime unit. One speaks Spanish, and the other speaks Portuguese.
"We're trying to help the community, not alienate it," Shastany said. "We want to protect the community by removing criminals. We want to decrease crime and victimization."
Only two other agencies in Massachusetts have taken part in the 287(g) program: the state Department of Correction and the Barnstable County's Sheriff Office.
The Government Accountability Office is working on a report about how law enforcement agencies across the country are using the program. A government researcher contacted Framingham Police for information about its operations, said Shastany.
As of now, more than 700 officers across the country have received training. Since 2006, immigration officials said, the program has been credited with identifying more than 60,000 people, mostly in jails, who are suspected of being in the country illegally. More than 25,000 people have been arrested.
"The trust between the immigrant community and the Framingham Police Department has increased dramatically," Carl said in an e-mail. "I would not attribute this solely to the 287(g) program but the totality of our strategies to develop a safe, healthy and crime-free community for all."

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/n...aining-results-in-three-arrests-in-Framingham
 
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"There are people who think we should expand the 287(g) program and use it every time we come across an illegal immigrant," said Lt. Paul Shastany, spokesman for the department. "We're not doing that. We're using the program as an investigative tool, not as an immigration-enforcement tool."
No, as the POLICE we certainly don't want to enforce the law, do we? :rolleyes:

And what is this mystical "training"? Anyone with a room-temperature IQ can figure out if someone is here illegally. I don't think it takes specialized 287(g) training to figure out if someone has a passport with no visa or entry stamp.
 

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Grim reaper
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No, as the POLICE we certainly don't want to enforce the law, do we? :rolleyes:

And what is this mystical "training"? Anyone with a room-temperature IQ can figure out if someone is here illegally. I don't think it takes specialized 287(g) training to figure out if someone has a passport with no visa or entry stamp.
In all fairness, its not hard but also not that simple.

There are hundreds of Visa status codes; each with respective privledges. Then there are different types of illegal~ EWI, WD, Re-entry; overstay; etc etc. There are passports, Resident Alien Cards (different types) Border Crossing cards; Temporary Worker cards; fake cards; consular ID's, diplomatic credentials. I have encountered every single type including an illegal who originally came here as a miltary attache in NYC. It tooks several minutes of calls to the State Dept & ICE to figure that one out. 287(g) swears you in with federal powers like an IEA which allows you to bypass calling ICE to come get the person. You make the arrest, you write it up, you file the detainer, etc. Back in the early 90's I recvd special designation as a Customs agent. We were trained to conduct inspections at the FEB (Functional Equivilent of Border), look for smugglers, check small aircraft; etc.

Many scenarios exist and unless you are confident enough to know what to ask, know how to ask and what to expect, you may come across one that leaves you speechless or worse....on the hook for an oops.

:)
 
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There are hundreds of Visa status codes; each with respective privledges. Then there are different types of illegal~ EWI, WD, Re-entry; overstay; etc etc. There are passports, Resident Alien Cards (different types) Border Crossing cards; Temporary Worker cards; fake cards; consular ID's, diplomatic credentials. I have encountered every single type including an illegal who originally came here as a miltary attache in NYC. It tooks several minutes of calls to the State Dept & ICE to figure that one out. 287(g) swears you in with federal powers like an IEA which allows you to bypass calling ICE to come get the person. You make the arrest, you write it up, you file the detainer, etc. Back in the early 90's I recvd special designation as a Customs agent. We were trained to conduct inspections at the FEB (Functional Equivilent of Border), look for smugglers, check small aircraft; etc.
If you want to get that involved, sure. I just think if we stop someone who hands us a passport with no visa or entry stamp, it's safe to assume they shouldn't be here.
 
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