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Thursday, June 4, 2009

What's Wrong with Secure Communities?

Thus far Secure Communities has encountered no opposition in Congress and little public concern as it pushes its way into local law enforcement throughout the country. That’s understandable, given that its promise to make communities more secure and its focus on criminal aliens.
Also making Secure Communities attractive is the easy, no-cost integration into the booking and fingerprinting processes overseen by local police and sheriff deputies. Unlike the more controversial 287 (g) program, which cross-deputizes local law enforcement officers but provides no compensation for the added immigration enforcement expenses, Secure Communities comes with little cost.
The program is being totally underwritten by the federal government. The $200 million program, part of a larger $1.4 billion ICE budget for its criminal alien efforts, is slated for a $39 million budget increase in 2010.
Under Secure Communities, local law-enforcement jurisdictions simply agree to add simultaneous searches of DHS and FBI databases after fingerprinting arrestees. If there is a match, ICE is automatically notified electronically, and then ICE decides if it will request a detainer for identified immigrant.
Recognizing that other federal/local collaborative programs sponsored by ICE have led to widespread complaints of “racial profiling” by local police, David Venturella, director of Secure Communities, told the Homeland Security subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, that such complaints will be minimized under the new program, which checks the FBI and DHS data on all those booked in cooperating state and local jails. As Venturella explained, “The fingerprints of all persons arrested and booked will be processed through the system, regardless of race, nationality, or ethnicity.
There is still very little known how Secure Communities works in the field, but among the initial concerns are the following:
* Lack of regulated prioritization.
* Checked whether innocent or guilty.
* Expansive definition of criminal alien.
* Undermining community trust in public safety.
Next: Lack of Regulated Prioritization in Secure Communities

1 comment:

chaparral said...

I can imagine Sheriff Arpaio doing the same thing he's doing minus actually having his deputies ask about immigration status, if they replace 287(g) with Secure Communities. Just pulling people over for any violation (real or imagined) and taking them in to jail.

In addition, AZ Senator Russell Pearce has been working on a number of laws that would increase the number of people considered criminal aliens buy essentially creating more criminals out of them. Here are a couple (text written by Pearce- i believe this is from his newsletter):

SB1177 unauthorized aliens; employment; application; transporting (a good fix to the day labor problem)
This bill makes it a misdemeanor to solicit employment and makes it a state crime to employ them and requires anyone transporting them for purposes of work to have their vehicle impounded for a mandatory 30 days.

SB1337 driver license violations (a law enforcement request and just puts it back to how it use to be)
Makes not having a drivers license a misdemeanor so they can arrest them. Today they cannot because it is a civil penalty. If they are lying, no ID, speak no English and they know they are a gang member or an illegal alien they must let them go. If you have a drivers license and just don't have it on you it will not affect you.