Under current federal policy – the so-called 287(g) program – local officials are enlisted to identify people who may be arrested on state criminal charges – such as an assault, DWI, or worse – may be screened for immigration status.

If the detainee is identified as undocumented or illegal, then an ICE hold may be placed on the person, so that once they are released from state custody – either through payment of a bond, or dismissal or disposition of the state charges – they are subject to a 48 hour hold during which they can be transferred to federal custody for deportation proceedings to begin.

According to the News and Observer that program may be phased out as soon as the end of this year:

U.S. Immigrations Customs and Enforcement officials say the so-called 287(g) program that includes Wake County will continue at least until the end of the year. But ICE says the program is under review, and that it will no longer train local police under the program or give them the authority to question, investigate and arrest people they suspect are in the country illegally.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison has been a proponent of the 287(g) program. Nonetheless, “[t]he Department of Homeland Security is still reviewing 57 complaints against the Wake County program, and ICE suspended its 287(g) agreement with the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office after the U.S. Justice Department found deputies there were exceeding their authority by checking the immigration status of Latinos on the street.”