Local

Two Views: A Look At Gwinnett County Jail’s Controversial 287(g) Program

Deputy Shannon Volkodav, left, a public information officer with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's office, and state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero spoke about the 287 (g) program.
Deputy Shannon Volkodav, left, a public information officer with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's office, and state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero spoke about the 287 (g) program.
Credit Maria White Tillman photos / WABE

The 287 (g) program has been in place in Gwinnett County for years now. It allows law enforcement officers who arrest people living in the country illegally to hold them for federal officials.

From the beginning, the program has raised concerns among some who live in Gwinnett, mainly in the Latino community.

Now that more Georgia law enforcement entities are considering adopting the program, those concerns have been renewed.

WABE invited Gwinnett Sheriff R.L. (Butch) Conway to talk to “Morning Edition” and share his experience and perspective. Instead, his public information officer, Deputy Shannon Volkodav, agreed to speak to “Morning Edition” host Lisa Rayam.

Volkodav explained the program and why the sheriff feels it works.

On the other side of the controversial program are its opponents.

Another view of 287 (g) program

Georgia state Rep. Brenda Lopez Romero is calling for an end to 287 (g) in her district — Gwinnett County.

She also spoke to Rayam.

Lopez Romero says she is discouraging other jurisdictions from implementing the program, which allows the sheriff’s office to hold immigrants they’ve arrested for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody.

Lopez Romero calls the 287 (g) program a scare tactic that intentionally deters naturalization.