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

Task Force Report Criticizes Secure Communities

Protestors in Chicago. Sarah-ji/Flickr A task force charged with making recommendations to improve the controversial Secure Communities program, released a critical draft report last week, saying that the Administration continued to create confusion about its enforcement priorities and underestimated the negative impact the program had on immigrant communities and community policing. Their report now heads to the Homeland Security Advisory Council... Read More

Round-Up: New Deportation Guidelines Announced During Week of Heated Secure Communities Hearings

Earlier this month, Deportation Nation reported that ICE terminated contracts with states for the controversial Secure Communities program.  As a result, the immigration debate has once again boiled over. This week the Obama Administration announced new guidelines to unclog the immigration courts by allowing low-priority immigrant offenders to remain in the country and apply for a work permit. The White House promoted that DHS had for the first time... 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

ICE to Reveal More Internal Documents Central to Secure Communities Debate

Courtesy: NYT A New York judge has ordered the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency to produce withheld information on how localities may “opt-out” or limit participation in the Secure Communities — even if it may be embarrassing to the agency. The decision was based on on-going FOIA litigation by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Cardozo Law School Immigration Justice... 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

Massachusetts Declines Secure Communities Program

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has become the latest state official to decide not to sign his state up for the Secure Communities program after months of stalling on the decision. In a letter written by Massachusetts Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan on behalf of Gov. Patrick, Heffernan wrote that the Secure Communities program does not meets its objectives of targeting serious criminals, stating that only 1 in 4 of those deported in Boston’s... Read More

New York Suspends Secure Communities, Says It “Compromises Public Safety”

After a day of rumors that New York state may pull out of Pres. Obama’s flagship immigration enforcement program, Gov. Andrew Cuomo made it official this afternoon. “There are concerns about the implementation of [Secure Communities] as well as its impact on families, immigrant communities and law enforcement in New York,” Cuomo said in a press release. “As a result, New York is suspending its participation in the program.” Cuomo... Read More

Secure Communities 101 Infographic Added

We added an infographic to our multimedia section. It explains how the Secure Communities program works, the technical process beyond the computer, and provides ICE’s most recent submission/deportation statistics.  It’s also been cross-posted on Feel free to repost this infographic. We simply request that you credit Deportation Nation and link to our website. Please do not edit our content or repackage it for sale. Email... 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

Update: Illinois Governor Terminates Secure Communities Agreement, DHS Overrides Decision

Update: ICE Head John Morton will speak will Illinois officials Friday, May 6 to discuss how ICE could improve the Secure Communities program. The Huffington Post reported that DHS has confirmed that the agency will not allow the state to stop sharing fingerprinting information. Meanwhile, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has asked President Obama to suspend the program. According to the LA Times, the letter addressed concerns saying that “evidence... 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

Exclusive: A Bottom-Up Look At Secure Communities

Deportation Nation launched Wednesday a new feature in its multimedia section called “A Bottom-Up Look at Secure Communities.” It features an exclusive video interview with Jason Cato, who has been researching the impact of programs like Secure Communities on local police enforcement and immigrant communities they come in contact with. Texas is fully enrolled in Secure Communities, which is a program that relies on police in local jails... 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

New ICE Budget Would Fund Oversight for Secure Communities

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced new plans on Thursday  to develop an oversight process and to train local police who participate in the Secure Communities program during a 2012 budget request hearing for the department. “ICE will work with DHS’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and the Department of Justice to develop a robust oversight and evaluation process of Secure Communities and to provide training... Read More

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