Secure Communities Reforms Fail to Fix Fundamentally Flawed Program

June 17, 2011 – Responding to the concerns of advocates and elected officials alike, the Obama administration this afternoon announced minor, and largely meaningless, reforms to the Secure Communities deportation program. By doing so, the Obama administration has turned deaf ears to the objections to Secure Communities voiced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the governors of Illinois and Massachusetts, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and law enforcement officials and civil rights advocates across the country. “Today’s announcement on Secure Communities is nothing more than window dressing on a fundamentally flawed program,” said Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic is not going to save this sinking program.” Under Secure Communities, everyone who is arrested and fingerprinted by local police has their biometric information checked against Immigration and Customs Enforcement databases. If there is a match – whether correct not – that individual is subject to immigration detention, including hundreds thousands of miles away from home, and deportation. On June 1, 2011 Governor Cuomo suspended implementation of Secure Communities in New York, finding that “based on evidence to date, it appears the program in New York is failing in [achieving its goals] and is actually undermining law enforcement.” “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” said NYCLU Advocacy Director Udi Ofer. “Even with today’s cosmetic changes, Secure Communities will continue to tear families apart, invite racial profiling and create distrust between police and immigrant communities.” During the period of January 11, 2011 to April 30, 2011, when Secure Communities was in place in New York, 73 percent of New Yorkers deported by immigration officials through Secure Communities were not convicted of a crime. Sixty-one percent of New Yorkers arrested through Secure Communities had not been convicted of a crime. Some of the changes announced today by the Department of Homeland Security include: – Creating an advisory committee to review the deportation of minor traffic offenders through Secure Communities – Video training for local law enforcement agencies on Secure Communities – New detainer forms – Protections for victims of domestic violence – Greater prosecutorial discretion for immigration officials

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.