SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE – The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska and Unity in Action announced a new community empowerment campaign including the placement of a billboard at the Junction of Hwy 77 & Dakota Avenue in South Sioux City, Nebraska to draw attention to the 287(g) program agreement entered into by the Dakota County Sheriff’s office on January 16, 2018. Photo of billboard attached. Under the 287(g) program, local law enforcement agencies commit to dedicate resources, training, and staff time to enforce immigration law on behalf of the federal government. The billboard will initially run at this location through early May 2018. The campaign assets also include a website, www.stop287g.com, to educate community members about the issue and a toll-free hotline to empower community members to report violations of their civil rights.

“This public education campaign is intended to raise awareness about the 287(g) program, which brings with it a host of potential problems, including higher taxes, racial profiling, and risks to public safety. Other communities have learned this the hard way and that is why law enforcement groups oppose the expansion of 287(g). Nebraska communities are strong and vibrant places to live and work. It is disappointing that local leaders would fuel the Trump Administration’s war on immigrant communities spreading fear and distrust. Nevertheless, we are resilient and will continue to fight back, to educate and to listen to community concerns,” said Rose Godinez, Legal and Policy Counsel at the ACLU of Nebraska.

“We are proud to stand with civil rights leaders in our community like the Winnebago Tribe, multiple local business owners, and over 600 Dakota County residents who have spoken out against this misguided policy. This public education campaign is an intentional extension of our advocacy in our community to keep community members informed and active in challenging the 287(g) program in Dakota County. It is important for our community to be informed and knowledgeable about what 287(g) entails and that people know where to turn to report concerns,” said Ismael Valadez, Executive Director of Unity in Action.

The 287(g) program has been widely criticized by civil rights and community groups for burdening scarce local resources, eroding trust among immigrant communities, inviting constitutional violations, and compromising public safety. The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association have opposed the 287(g) program. Currently, no other community in Nebraska or neighboring states participates in the 287(g) program. Today about sixty law enforcement agencies in 18 states participate but in recent years, localities have left the program, citing expenses.



Unity in Action was initiated by community leaders and volunteers who perceived a need for support and guidance in our Latino community. Although Unity in Action was not officially registered in the state of Nebraska until May 2014, the organization came into inception in December 2013. To empower Latinos by promoting workers' rights, civic engagement and justice through education, training, and advocacy. Learn more at: https://www.unitedinactionne.org/

For over 50 years in Nebraska, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional and individual rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, we take up the toughest civil liberties fights. Beyond one person, party, or side — we the people dare to create a more perfect union. Learn more at aclunebraska.org

Learn more about what the ACLU of Nebraska is doing for immgrant rights work