Round-up: Immigration and Enforcement Systems Under Fire Amidst Record-Number Deportations

On the heels of the Obama administration’s announcement of its latest record-high number of deportations, two television documentaries and a study revealed persistent problems with the nation’s immigration detention and enforcement systems. Meanwhile, Santa Clara passed new guidelines for civil immigration detainers and a Washington D.C. Mayor signed an executive order Wednesday that would prohibit local police from inquiring about... Read More

ICE Says Secure Communities Will Stay Active Even if States Opt-Out

ICE says it has decided to “terminate” contracts with states for its increasingly unpopular Secure Communities program. But that doesn’t mean the data-sharing enforcement program will stop. The announcement came in a letter to state governors that seeks to “clarify an issue that has been the subject of substantial confusion” as ICE continues its plan to implement the program nationwide by 2013. “Once a state or... Read More

Secure Communities to Play Role in Massive FBI-Biometric Database System

New documents released Wednesday assert that ICE’s controversial Secure Communities program is just a small part of a bigger effort by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to create the “world’s largest crime-fighting computer database of biometric information, including fingerprints, palm prints, iris patterns and face images” called Next Generation Identification (NGI) project. The new findings also reaffirm the federal... Read More

Secure Communities Reforms Disappoint Advocates

John Morton, ICE Assistant Director Late Friday afternoon in a conference call with reporters, ICE unveiled a list of reforms to its controversial “Secure Communities” program. “We are listening to what people have said, what various state officials and community officials have raised, and we’re tyring to address those concerns head on,” said John Morton, ICE Assistant Secretary. “The announcements we are making today are on the whole... Read More

New Interactive Timeline Tracks Growing Resistance to Secure Communities

Obama’s flagship immigration enforcement program faced criticism from coast to coast on Tuesday.  First The New York Times ran an editorial titled “Resistance Grows” that supported Massachusetts for joining Illinois and New York in rejecting Secure Communities. “We welcome the votes of no-confidence in Secure Communities,” read the NYT op-ed. “The message is clear and growing louder: Mr. Obama and the homeland... Read More

Contractor Says ICE Misled States on Optional Enforcement Program, Fuels Federal Investigation

A letter from a former ICE regional coordinator, who was let go for his role in the opt-out confusion, provides more details on the strategy behind the implementation of the Secure Communities program. It was included in a series of letters sent by California Rep. Zoe Lofgren to Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General as evidence for an immediate investigation into the misconduct of immigration officials. ICE contractor Dan Cadman... Read More

Enforcement Desk Round-up: States Push Back Against Secure Communities, More Bills Challenge Sanctuary Cities

Backlash against President Obama’s flagship immigration enforcement program, Secure Communities, has picked up momentum in recent weeks, and sparked new debate on how far the federal government will go to implement the program nationwide with disregard to opposition at the state and local level. Illinois: DHS overrules Illinois’ decision to terminate the program in the state On May 4, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn informed the Immigration... Read More

Congressmember Asks Feds To Investigate Misconduct of Immigration Officials Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has written to the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility asking for an investigation into the misconduct of immigration officials who she says misled the public with dishonest information on Secure Communities. At the heart of the debate is whether local jurisdictions and states can opt-out of the controversial program that relies on police... Read More

Update: Internal Docs Reveal California’s Frustration With Secure Communities Expansion, Congresswoman Demands Investigation

*Update: Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has demanded an investigation into the actions of the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency, saying that officials were not truthful about whether jurisdictions could opt-out of the Secure Communities program. “You can’t have a government department essentially lying to local government and to members of Congress,” Lofgren told the Los Angeles Times.“This is not OK.” Documents... Read More

New Data: Secure Communities Still Sweeping Up Low-Level Offenders, Non-Criminals

Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, leads the counties enrolled in Secure Communities with the highest level of non-criminal deportations, followed by Prince George’s County in Maryland and Merced County in California, according to new data released Thursday by the Uncover the Truth Coalition. The data provides a breakdown of jurisdictions enrolled in Secure Communities and their removal rates. It was released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement... Read More

New Resources on Secure Communities from ICE, ACLU

Sometimes you want to go right to the source. That’s why Deportation Nation offers a Library of primary documents. We’ve just added several recent reports on Secure Communities by non-profits and ICE. You can read the documents online, add your comments and highlight them. In the section on “ICE Data, Reports & Audits” we added a March 2011 Memo from ICE Director John Morton on Civil Immigration Enforcement in which he... Read More

Docs Show ICE Had a Different Definition of “Voluntary” for Secure Communities (Audio)

Many of the documents were heavily redacted. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) recently released 15,000 pages of internal documents about whether participation in Secure Communities is mandatory. To learn about the details they reveal, Deportation Nation interviewed Sarahi Uribe of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. She is a plaintiff in the FOIA lawsuit that led to the release of the documents. “We now see that... Read More

Confusion Helped Spread of Secure Communities, Even As Resistance Remains Strong

Many of the released ICE documents were heavily redacted. Newly released records reveal how federal authorities kept altering their stance on whether local police are required to share arrest data with immigration agents, even if they ask not to. “Keeping you in the loop as we progress with always changing policy as it relates to [Secure Communities],” reads a May 2010 email update from an unidentified sender about the controversial program. The... Read More

Report: New Obama Budget Should Cut Spending on Failed Immigration Enforcement

As President Obama prepares to release his 2012 budget on Monday, a new report suggests he should re-evaluate the price tag for two immigration enforcement programs that have failed to meet their mandate. The government spends $23,000 to deport a single immigrant, almost double what it previously estimated, suggests the report from the National Immigration Forum (NIF). It highlights costs associated with identifying, detaining, and deporting non-citizens... Read More

In Detention: Feb. 7, 2010

Editor’s note: This is the latest blog post from a 27-year-old college graduate who ran a small construction clean-up company in Arizona until he was stopped by police for a traffic infraction in late summer of 2010. After Yogi (not his real name) was arrested and fingerprinted his information was shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He was then transferred from jail to ICE custody because he lacked proper... Read More

In Detention: Feb. 5, 2010

Editor’s note: This is the latest blog post from a 27-year-old college graduate who ran a small construction clean-up company in Arizona until he was stopped by police for a traffic infraction in late summer of 2010. After Yogi (not his real name) was arrested and fingerprinted his information was shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He was then transferred from jail to ICE custody because he lacked proper immigration... Read More

Feds Stall Release of Records for Controversial Immigration Enforcement Program

A request for records concerning the Secure Communities program has stalled once again. This time the delay is credited to formatting problems. Judge Shira Scheindlin in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of  New York has asked in a Feb. 3 ruling for both parties in the dispute to resolve the issue. “Once again, this Court is required to rule on an e-discovery issue that could have been avoided had the parties had the good... Read More

After Secure Communities Fails, Feds Call for More Immigration Enforcement by Police

A recent Washington Post article highlights how Virginia police are frustrated that Secure Communities has targeted non-criminal immigrants for deportation while letting dangerous offenders go free. The solution, they argue, is even more involvement of local police in immigration enforcement. Police dissatisfaction in Loudoun County, VA, focuses on the federal fingerprint database at the heart of Secure Communities, which allows police to run fingerprints... Read More

Two Counties in Lower Hudson Valley are First to Join Secure Communities in NY

New York counties enrolled in Secure Communities as of January 13, 2010. (Source: ICE) There isn’t much landscaping work in Rockland County during the winter, so the Jornaleros Project rents space from a church where day laborers can stay indoors, find warm clothes, and pass the time taking English classes. During the rest of the year, the project often advises workers on how to deal with employers who refuse to pay them. “It’s a... Read More

Updated: Colorado May Limit Immigrants Targeted by “Secure Communities”

Colorado is set to become the first state to put significant limits on  Secure Communities, a program that shares local arrest data with federal immigration agents. Protection for domestic violence victims and new oversight measures appear alongside boilerplate language in a familiar “memorandum of agreement” (MOA) that 35 other states have signed with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Deportation Nation reviewed the agreement... Read More

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