Immigration Enforcement: Is It a Local Issue?

After the horrendous terror attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, U.S. federal agencies scrambled to identify and find the thousands of absconders and other persons who had overstayed visas or remained in the United States without legal sanction. The federal agencies attempted to enlist the help of local law enforcement by placing civil absconder warrants in the NCIC system that had been used previously only to notify law enforcement of criminal warrants. The move sparked renewed debate about what role state and local police should play in enforcing immigration laws has grown.