287(g) Fact Sheet



ACTION, a coalition of congregations and nonprofits, wants Tulsa County to terminate its 287(g) and detention contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and redirect the committed resources of the sheriff’s department to protecting and serving our community.


  • The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office has two contracts with ICE. One is the 287(g) contract under which local residents are apprehended and held for eventual deportation. Inmates held under the 287(g) contract usually are ineligible for bond and are detained for the entirety of their pre-trial and sentencing phases (often months). ICE does not reimburse the county for this expense; it is borne by Tulsa County taxpayers.
  • Under the other contract with ICE, the sheriff holds up to 200 inmates in the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center for a fee. Most are asylum seekers sent by ICE from Texas.
  • Tulsa would be safer without 287(g) and ICE detention programs. Undocumented people would be more likely to report crime if they faced lower risk of deportation, and the sheriff’s department would dedicate more resources to its primary function — local public safety.
  • A large percentage of people ICE deports from Tulsa County have been convicted of no crime or have been processed on minor traffic violations. Some are charged with or convicted of felonies, but their cases can be handled in the court system without 287(g).
  • Most deportees are income-positive members of society. When a family’s breadwinner is deported, the remaining spouse and children must find other sources of support.
  • The financial impact of the 287(g) and ICE detention programs is net neutral at best and probably negative, meaning the diversion of sheriff’s department resources from addressing core local law-enforcement responsibilities produces no material positive outcome.
  • Sheriff Vic Regalado says ICE detention standards are onerous, and ACTION supports his efforts to secure alternative revenue so jail operations can become sustainable without ICE.
  • There are more than 23,000 municipalities in the United States, yet fewer than 80 are participating in the ICE programs. Some have dropped out after realizing financial loss.
  • The county’s current 287(g) contract expires on June 30, so a decision on 287(g) is at hand.


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