Secure Communities

Secure Communities is an American deportation program that relies on cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the interior immigration enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security, manages the Secure Communities Program.

The program has came under attack for misrepresenting who is being picked up and what is expected of law enforcement partners. It was touted as a way to increase public safety by picking up dangerous criminals who were also undocumented immigrants but opponents argue that the program was never implemented in a manner that would achieve that.

Many state and local partners to the program have come to resent it, because of its detrimental effects on local social fabrics and law enforcement operations. The implementation of the program has been criticized for not sticking to its original goals of deporting criminals and using the program as a general deportation facilitation tool. The articles on the page below offer different perspectives on the controversial program.

Baca on Secure Communities

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Michele Waslin: Baca said that ICE has the ability to deport an immigrant, regardless of a criminal conviction, and he has no problem with people being deported after being charged with traffic violations.

More States Disapprove ICE’s Secure Communities Program

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Michele Waslin: The program, which shares the fingerprints of individuals booked into jails with federal immigration databases, has been widely criticized for failing to target serious criminals, for increasing the potential for racial profiling, and for failing to be transparent.

Is Opting Out of the Secure Communities Program an Option?

San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey

Michele Waslin: Given ICE’s stated intention to eventually install the system in all state and local detention facilities nationwide, and given the fact that DHS signs MOAs with the states, it is unclear how those local jurisdictions that want to opt out will be able to do so. Thus Secure Communities raises serious questions about the relationship between federal and local law-enforcement agencies, and about a local community’s ability to weigh in on important decisions affecting the entire community.

Is Secure Communities Making our Communities Secure?

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A new IPC report, The Secure Communities Program: Unanswered Questions and Continuing Concerns, released today highlights early evidence from Secure Communities—and experience with other ICE programs—that suggests this new program may not be living up to its name and may not be effectively making our communities more safe.

Department of Homeland Security Suspends “Widow Penalty”

Janet Napolitano (UPI Photo/ Phil McCarten)

This week, the Obama administration took another step toward restoring fairness and humaneness to the immigration system.  On Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that she would grant a two-year reprieve to immigrants who were married to U.S. citizens but did not complete the permanent residency process because their American spouses [...]

Local Police Report Makes the Case for Federal Enforcement of Immigration Laws

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This week the Police Foundation issued a long awaited report, The Role of Local Police: Striking a Balance Between Immigration Enforcement and Civil Liberties. The Police Foundation found that because Congress has failed to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform, states and localities have spent more time and resources curbing immigration themselves at the high [...]

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