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State corrections extends immigration enforcement program
Hall county jail
The Hall County Jail

The state last week extended its participation in an immigration enforcement program that trains state and local law enforcement to perform some immigration enforcement tasks.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced the Georgia Department of Corrections will continue its participation in the program, known as 287(g), that coordinates with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Hall County participates in 287(g), and Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said his stance has not changed on the issue.

With the 287(g) agreement in place, local law enforcement officers screen those being booked in to the Hall County Jail, checking databases for their immigration statuses. 

If someone is flagged for potential removal from the U.S., an ICE detainer is placed on that person to allow the federal agency time to take that person into its custody.

Hall is one of several counties in Georgia with a 287(g) agreement using the jail enforcement model, and an extension was signed in 2019.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said ICE has not given the Sheriff’s Office “any indication of its timeline” on presenting a new memorandum of agreement or how long this extension would last.

“As the Sheriff (Gerald Couch) said prior to the current extension in May of 2019, ‘If the terms of the current MOA do not change, I would anticipate renewing the agreement with ICE.’  The stance remains the same,” Booth wrote in an email. “If a new (memorandum of agreement) includes any changes, the sheriff will fully examine it to weigh the pros and cons prior to making any decision.”