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Gwinnett to start immigration enforcement

LAWRENCEVILLE -- The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office plans to get started with a federal program that will allow specially trained deputies to enforce federal immigration law.

The sheriff's office says deputies will be returning this weekend from training in Charleston, S.C., run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The 18 trained deputies plan to start the program "in some capacity" on Monday.

The sheriff's offices in Cobb, Hall and Whitfield counties already participate in the program, which is known as 287(g) after the section of the law that governs it. Gwinnett's acceptance into the ICE program was announced in July.

The program has been championed by illegal immigration foes and decried by immigrant rights and civil liberties groups.