The secure communities program is a key part of a GOP strategy to mass-deport the 11 million mostly-innocent undocumented immigrants in the United States
By Mahwish Khan
On April 22, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-16) asked that federal immigration officials be investigated, claiming that they misled local officials about whether counties and states had the right to opt out of the Secure Communities program.
According to the LA Times, a number of local jurisdictions have sought to opt out of the program or asked that their fingerprint data not be sent to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Federal officials initially told them they could do so, an assertion repeated by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Assistant Atty. Gen. Ronald Weich in September letters to Lofgren.
But internal correspondence recently released to immigrant and civil rights groups in response to Freedom of Information Act litigation reveals that ICE officials had long known that the program was not voluntary.
A month after Lofgren received the letters, Napolitano held a news conference to clarify that local officials had no say in the program.
Lofgren, whose legal staff spent a week reviewing the internal documents, said she will seek a probe of whether Napolitano or ICE Director John Morton were aware of the strategy.
"It’s unacceptable and if she knew about it, something has to be done about her, and, if she didn’t, she has to do something about those who did," Lofgren said. "Clearly the people in the department were dissembling and deceiving."
Created in 2007, Secure Communities is an ICE-agency program designed to identify undocumented immigrants, prioritize them based on what kind of crime they’ve committed (if any), and process them for deportation. The program relies on local police officers to double as federal immigration enforcement, and utilizes fingerprint databases to identify potential criminals.
The problem? As the LA Times article said, “Recently released data show that half of the immigration holds issued since the inception of
Fast urges Congress to end moral crisis
As communities across the country continue to escalate their campaign for commonsense immigration reform and pressure leadership in the House of Representatives, faith, immigrant rights and labor leaders launched their “Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship” on ...
José Martínez wins prestigious educator award
In a surprise announcement at an all-school assembly, Colorado’s Bear Creek High School social studies teacher José Martínez was presented this week with a $25,000 check from the Milken Family Foundation in recognition of his exceptional work as a model teacher for the state and nation.
Katherine Archuleta: First Latina director of OPM
Katherine Archuleta was sworn-in as the 10th Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and will serve as the Federal government’s personnel chief. Archuleta was confirmed by the U.S. Senate with strong bipartisan support in a 62–36 vote.
She will be the first Latina to hold this ...
Reaching out across time and culture
Death is inevitable. It is a common fate shared by all. “Death is democratic, because at the end of the day, rich or poor, everyone winds up a skeleton,” said the late artist José Guadalupe Posada, a Mexican illustrator known for his satirical and politically acute Calaveras/skulls. It has been ...