A CLOSER LOOK: 2019 Washington County Detention Center’s 287(g) report

A Closer Look

After a criminal arrest, the 287(g) program reviews people who are not born in this country

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) — January to November 2019 local law enforcement in Washington County, Arkansas reviewed nearly 500 foreign-born people — some were arrested or detained, others were not — for a number of crimes.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) does a 287(g) monthly report. The program is a partnership between local law enforcement and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Benton and Washington County Sheriff’s Offices are the only two agencies in Arkansas that have 287(g) agreements with ICE.

“The program only reviews foreign-born individuals who have been arrested on criminal charges and brought to the Washington County Detention Center. Once the review is complete, ICE makes the decision on whether or not to place a detainer on an individual. Just because a detainer is placed, doesn’t mean an individual will be deported.” — Per WCDC website.

The report can be found at the Washington County Detention Center’s website under its “Detention Information” tab. According to its website, on average 44 people were reviewed over 11 months. Overall, most were from Mexico and the Marshall Islands. From August to November 2019, there were 61 Mexicans and 48 Marshallese reviewed, but not necessarily arrested.

Over the 11 months, 297 foreign-born people were not arrested and 186 were.

Other countries where people originated and were here illegally included Central America, Cuba, Philippines, South Africa, Laos, Vietnam, Russia, Taiwan, England, Germany, Bosnia, India, South Korea, and Australia.


  • January: 40 reviews. 20 detained, 20 not detained. One ICE re-entry charge, U.S. Marshal hold
  • February: 29 reviews. 9 detained, 20 not detained. One U.S. Marshal hold
  • March: 53 reviews. 18 detained, 35 not detained. Two U.S. Marshal holds, Conspiracy to Distribute Narcotics and Drug Offense, with Prior Deportation. Four illegal re-entries into the United States, U.S. Marshal hold (ICE)
  • April: 63 reviews. 22 detained, 41 not detained. Two U.S. Marshal holds for illegal re-entry. U.S. Marshal hold (WCSO)
  • May: 55 reviews. 23 detained, 32 not detained. Five U.S. Marshal holds for illegal re-entry to U.S. — one was an ICE hold. Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child – Texas, U.S. Marshal. Springdale PD reported a rape
  • June: 44 reviews. 17 detained, 27 not detained. Two rape and sexual assault, Washington County Sheriff’s Office
  • July: 28 reviews. 9 detained, 19 not detained. U.S. Marshal, ICE re-entry
  • August: 50 reviews. 21 detained, 29 not detained. Two U.S. Marshal holds, illegal re-entry to U.S.
  • September: 49 reviews. 21 detained, 28 not detained. One U.S. Marshal illegal re-entry. Springdale PD reported one rape
  • October: 39 reviews. 18 detained, 21 not detained. Springdale PD reported two rapes
  • November: 33 reviews. 8 detained, 25 not detained. One U.S. Marshal illegal re-entry

Paying for inmates while they’re at the jail varies. “It depends on the detainee’s status of whether or not they have pending local charges,” said Washington County Sheriff’s Officer Public Relations Director Kelly Cantrell, “If the detainee has pending local charges, it’s the same as any other detainee with local charges.  If the detainee is remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal, then the USM reimburses at $62 per day.”

Overall, the average cost to house an inmate is $63.12, according to the state’s estimates.

All detainees receive a Rule 8.1 hearing on local charges. “Immigration Customs Enforcement and U.S. Marshal handle the federal cases,” said Cantrell.

In Arkansas, a Rule 8.1 hearing according to legal research team Casetext is where “an arrested person who is not released by citation or by other lawful manner shall be taken before a judicial officer without unnecessary delay.”

Most times, if a person gets pulled over by a police officer or state trooper and they decide to give you a citation for no driver’s license, for example, you get a court date for an appearance. “But, if you’re arrested, taken to jail for not having a driver’s license, then the questions may begin. ‘Where’s your driver’s license, what’s your social security number?’ If you don’t have one, or you may admit you don’t have one and you’re here illegally, they [law enforcement] can take biometrics and run it through their computer, a computer only they have access to,” said Herrera Law Group Immigration Attorney Aaron Cash.

A U.S. Marshal hold is more serious than an ICE hold. “If you have a U.S. Marshal hold for illegal re-entry —you have been ordered to depart and you come back illegally — you are going to federal prison,” said Cash. “An ICE hold is an immigration violation, it’s an administrative process, such as a lawsuit … it is not a punishment.”

He said he has seen an uptick in people requesting assistance regarding Immigration ICE holds. “We do a screening to see who we can help, but sometimes it’s too late for us to assist,” said Cash.

Mexicali, Baja California border fence. Photo by Brooke Binkowski 4/2016.


Someone from Mexico entered without a visa — is illegal. This person is married to a U.S. citizen and they have kids. The U.S. spouse files a petition for the husband, to get a green card, and is in that process. As long as he doesn’t get arrested they can file a waiver, leave the country, go do an interview in Juarez, Mexico and if there are no legal problems, he returns as a permanent resident in a few days. But, let’s say during the process he gets arrested for no driver’s license. He’ll be in custody and the immigration judge can’t give any relief, all the judge can do is allow him to voluntarily leave the U.S. Now, if he had just received a citation there would have been a different outcome.

There are 12 U.S. states where people without proper documentation may get a driver’s license — CA, NV, UT, CO, NM, WA, IL, VT, MA, MD, DE, WA.

Under the current administration, everybody is a priority instead of prioritizing. “Resources are being used on minor things and not major offenses, such as rapes,” said Cash.

In 2017, Pew Research Center reported ICE arrests went up in 2017 with the biggest increases in Florida, northern Texas, and Oklahoma.

The report reads in part, “Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 25 2017 that expanded ICE’s enforcement focus to most immigrants in the U.S. without authorization, regardless of whether they have a criminal record. Under President Barack Obama, by contrast, ICE focused its enforcement efforts more narrowly, such as by prioritizing the arrests of those convicted of serious crimes.

Despite the overall rise in arrests in 2017, ICE made about twice as many arrests in fiscal 2009, the year Obama came into office (297,898). This total generally declined in subsequent years.”

Read the full report here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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