Long Island Congressmen Peter King and Lee Zeldin want local law enforcement to be deputized to act as agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The two sent a letter to the sheriffs of Suffolk and Nassau asking that they enroll in a controversial federal program, known by its statute number 287(g).
The program trains local officers to investigate immigration status, arrest noncitizens, and participate in deportations. Zeldin and King say such a partnership will make Long Island safer. Critics say it scares immigrants into not reporting crimes to police.
Last November New York’s Appellate court ruled that it was unlawful for local police to detain people on behalf of ICE. However, doing so would be allowed if police were deputized by ICE.
Neither Suffolk nor Nassau has ever publicly expressed interest in enrolling in the program. When asked for comment on the letter from King and Zeldin, neither directly address the program.