Uncover the Truth: Newly Obtained Documents Reveal Secure Communities Program Leads to Deportations of People Who Have Never Been Arrested

Newly Obtained Documents Reveal Secure Communities Program Leads to Deportations of People Who Have Never Been Arrested, Despite Objection of California Department of Justice

July 3, 2012—Today, advocates released emails from the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) that show that ICE’s controversial Secure Communities deportation program is sweeping in individuals who have never been criminally arrested, despite objections raised by the California Department of Justice. The emails—which were obtained as a result of Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic—show that people who are unable to satisfactorily identify themselves at drivers’ license checkpoints are processed for deportation through Secure Communities.

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Zanesville Times Recorder: Ruling Shows It’s Time for Immigration Reform

On June 29, 2012 Rekha Basu (Zanesville Times Recorder) wrote:

Three months ago, Victor Gabino Mendoza, a 17-year-old Des Moines high school student, heard a commotion in the parking lot of the building where he worked part time and went to see what was going on. He found police clashing with some people and asked what they were doing, according to his girlfriend’s uncle, Victor Torres. Apparently, he asked too many times or in the wrong way because he ended up under arrest himself, charged with interfering with official acts. He was jailed for a day and fined $250 plus court costs.

Had this happened to another young person, that might have been the end of it.

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Huffington Post – Immigration Official: ‘Draconian’ To Suspend Program Over Racial Profiling Investigation

Elise Foley reports on March 8, 2012:

WASHINGTON — Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said Thursday that the agency has no plans to suspend a controversial program that gives police authority to detect undocumented immigrants, even in jurisdictions under investigation for racial profiling.

“From our perspective that is a fairly draconian step, and we’re very concerned about the public safety implications of not identifying serious offenders who would otherwise be released to the streets,” Morton told a House of Representatives subcommittee on homeland security.

ICE has remained staunchly committed to the Secure Communities program, despite opposition from many immigrant-rights groups, lawmakers and law enforcement offices. And even though the agency, partnered with the Department of Justice, is investigating whether local police are engaged in racial profiling, the administration of President Obama plans to move ahead at the same rate to implement the program nationwide.

Secure Communities requires police to share fingerprint data on all arrestees with the federal government, namely the FBI, which transfers the data to ICE in order to detect undocumented immigrants. The program currently exists in 2,385 jurisdictions, including all along the Southwest border, and will be rolled out in all 3,181 nationwide by 2013.  Read more …