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December 16, 2011

Thompson Commends DHS Action Against Discrimination and Racial Profiling

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the below statement regarding news that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has terminated Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff's Office 287(g) agreement and has restricted its access to the Secure Communities program in response to a recent Department of Justice report that found discriminatory policing practices at Maricopa County.

I commend Secretary Napolitano for terminating Maricopa County's participation in the 287(g) program and restrict the Sheriff's Office access to the Secure Communities program. I have long been concerned that some jurisdictions were administering the 287(g) program in a discriminatory manner. In 2009, with the release of a report I requested from the Government Accountability Office, my suspicions were confirmed. Yesterday's finding from the Justice Department further validate these concerns.

I look forward to DHS, in coordination with the Justice Department, continuing to give close and careful scrutiny to the 287(g) and Secure Communities programs to ensure the law is upheld and the rights of individuals are protected.

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Media Contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978