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‘Rebuilding That Trust We Have Lost’: New Cobb Sheriff Axes Immigration, Law Enforcement Program

Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens sent a memo to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday, saying his office would no longer participate in 287(g), a provision that deputizes local law enforcement to check the immigration status of those they detain.
Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens sent a memo to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday, saying his office would no longer participate in 287(g), a provision that deputizes local law enforcement to check the immigration status of those they detain.
Credit Bryan Cox / Associated Press file

Another Atlanta-area sheriff new to the position is ending a partnership with federal immigration officials.

Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens sent a memo to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday, saying his office would no longer participate in 287(g).

The provision deputizes local law enforcement to check the immigration status of those they detain, but has faced growing opposition. Immigration advocates say 287(g) encourages racial profiling and creates an unnecessary fear of law enforcement.

Owens, a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, was recently sworn in to replace former GOP Sheriff Neil Warren. Warren faced criticism over joining the program in 2007.

Owens says there’s a lot of work to do to overcome those fears and rebuild community trust. WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress talked to the sheriff about his decision.

This comes just after Gwinnett County Sheriff Keybo Taylor also delivered on his promise to get rid of the program. Taylor took office on Jan. 1.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.