US Immigration Update on Secure Communities

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) quietly announced last week that it is changing its Secure Communities program to better meet the Administration’s enforcement priorities. The announcement came in the form of a 19-page report ICE released to address a series of recommendations made by the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities “Task Force.”

‘Secure communities’ is a program to deport illegal aliens partnering with Federal, State and local Law enforcement. Within Department of Homeland Security, Immigration Custom and Enforcement is the program manager.

Under the administration of George W. Bush, ‘Secure communities’ was first piloted in 2008 with 14 jurisdictions. In year 2011 the program was expanded to 1,210 jurisdictions. When I say jurisdiction it include state, country and local prisons, these things to increase to 3,141 by 2013, as mentioned by ICE. In this year, almost 70K deportation took place out of 140K criminal aliens.

While ICE’s responses to the recommendations varied, the agency made a significant policy shift by agreeing with the Task Force recommendation that it should refrain from enforcing the law against illegal aliens apprehended for “minor traffic offenses.”

Which mean ICE have all the rights to deport illegal aliens if they find any pursuant in any law, ICE can directly start the deportation process rather than waiting for local police or any other department to arrest and put him/her to jail.

ICE characterized its policy shift as follows: “For individuals arrested solely for minor traffic offenses, who have not previously been convicted of other crimes and do not fall within any other ICE priority category, ICE will only consider making a detainer operative upon conviction of the minor criminal traffic offense.”

ICE even announced, if the jurisdiction arrest rates of agency deems too high, it will take action against the agency, reason being the “Civil Rights” and “Civil Liberties” of ICE and DHS division, they analyze the data for any Racial Profiling indication. Racial profiling is a form of discrimination by which law enforcement uses a person’s race or cultural background as the primary reason to suspect that the individual has broken the law. Secure Communities is the only enforcement program in protecting the Immigration Law in Obama Administration.

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