Published: Oct 15, 2012 6:47 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk has signed an extension for a controversial immigration policy.

On Friday, the sheriff signed an agreement that extends 287g until the end of the year.

The program allows certain Collier County deputies to check someone's immigration status after they are arrested.

The sheriff says the program has been successful in getting violent criminals off the streets, but opponents say it has the immigrant community living in fear.

Earlier this month, a group of 40 community leaders and activists delivered a letter to the sheriff asking him not to renew the policy. He did not reply to their letter directly.

The group issued a statement saying in part, "we are not only disheartened that ICE would renew the flawed and costly 287g agreement, but appalled as well that Sheriff Rambosk would not heed our request, along with 41 other civic and community leaders, to terminate this controversial program."

The sheriff released a statement as well, saying he is pleased to continue the partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and when criminals are removed from the street, the community is safer.