The reality that 12 to 20 million illegal foreign nationals reside in the United States brings with it a number of homeland security questions and concerns. The threat of terrorists taking advantage of the United States' porous borders and lack of immigration law enforcement is highly probable. The United States must develop an effective strategy for dealing with illegal immigration and the homeland security threat that accompanies it. One possible strategy for combating illegal immigration is the use of Title VIII, Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which grants (under limited conditions) state and local law enforcement agencies the authority to enforce immigration law. Unfortunately, the issue of state and local enforcement of immigration-related matters has become highly contentious. Much has been written about what supporters and opponents of these enforcement programs hope or fear they will do, but not much information has been collected on what these programs actually do. The purpose of this thesis is to examine three situations in which state or local agencies have implemented the 287(g) program. The case studies involve the Collier County Sheriff's Office (Florida), the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office (North Carolina), and the Alabama Department of Public Safety. While the use of this authority has many aspects to it that should be reviewed prior to widespread implementation, its use is necessary to keep the nation and our communities safe. The 287(g) program should be strongly considered a national strategy for combating illegal immigration.