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 ...
Organizing to protect migrants in México
“Nosotros decidimos entre todos hacer una caminata hasta Palenque.”/“All of us, together, have decided to walk to Palenque.”
Approximately 50 miles separate Tenosique, Tabasco, from Palenque, Chiapas. By the end, the walk that started in Tenosique ended up all the way in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, on ...
‘I was not the first, I won’t be the last’
From the moment I woke up, I realized there was something unusual about the morning. The sun wasn’t out, the birds weren’t singing, and instead of the school bus my dad would be taking me to school.
I soon realized why that bus hadn’t come: walking to school my dad and I passed two white ...
Shift to high-tech jobs leaves Latinos behind
Job numbers are bouncing back to 2008 levels, but the recovery isn’t being felt evenly by everyone. While new jobs are being added to the rolls, many occupations remain in decline, leaving those with a high school degree or less struggling in the job market.
According to Erin Currier, director ...
Calling for an end of parental deportations
Faith leaders, community members, and immigrant allies from Colorado held a press conference this week to announce the official kick-off of the "Keep Families Together: A People's Resolution" campaign. The campaign calls upon President Obama and Congress to immediately cease all deportations of ...