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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Escondido, California continues to vie for most anti-immigrant and anti-Latino city in America. Ugg. Sara Gates reports:
For every drunk driver, Escondido police pick up about 10 unlicensed drivers — a majority of which are undocumented immigrants. DUI road barriers effectively serve as immigration checkpoints in this California town.
According to a new report from KPBS news in San Diego, this policy is one of many recent initiatives by the Escondido police that directly target undocumented immigrants and the Latino population — 49 percent of Escondido’s 145,000 residents.
Other policies include proposed restrictions on food carts and parking in Latino neighborhoods and a 2006 ban on rental properties for anyone without proof of legal residency. However, the later restraint was ruled unconstitutional and ultimately discontinued.
Escondido police paired with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2010 to initiate “Operation Joint Effort,” which instituted dual DUI-immigration checkpoints.
The city is the first in the country to strike up such an agreement with ICE, so that the agency is informed whenever an undocumented immigrant is suspected. ICE also maintains an office at the local police station. Read more …
Kevin Acee writes on March 10, 2012:
The minds of likely voters in California have hardly changed for years when asked about what should happen to illegal immigrants who live and work in the United States, according to a series of state polls.
Since 2007, nearly two-thirds of respondents have continued to say the undocumented who have worked in the country for at least two years should be allowed to stay, keep their jobs and apply for legal status, the Public Policy Institute of California has found. The figure was 62 percent in the latest poll, which was released Wednesday.
The numbers have remained steady despite the switch from a Republican president to a Democratic one, the Great Recession, many high-profile and strident comments about immigration during the current GOP primary contest, last year’s record number of deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the growing debate about a program in which local police help federal agents screen for undocumented immigrants, and Congress’ repeated rejection of the DREAM Act, which would give certain illegal immigrants a path to U.S. citizenship. Read more …