One of the most dangerous immigration enforcement programs in the United States is the Secure Communities program. It is dangerous because of its rapid spreading across the country like a virus. It is dangerous because it was expanded under an administration that promised Latino voters change and keeps promising while increasing detentions and deportations. It is dangerous because the master plan is to implement it throughout the country. It is dangerous because the U.S is hiding information and spreading disinformation.
Because of this, late last month, the National Day Laborer Organization Network (NDLON), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of Cardozo Law filed an injunction in federal court to require the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to turn over critical documents on the ability for communities to opt-out of the “Secure Communities”.
From the press release announcing the legal action :
So far, at least, San Francisco and Santa Clara, California, and Arlington, Virginia, have formally requested to opt-out of S-Comm. The emergency injunction is being filed before those municipalities who have voted to opt-out are scheduled to meet with ICE in early November. The lack of information and mixed messages from the agency, however, is causing confusion, leaving local law enforcement frustrated about an issue that groups say is undermining community safety. The injunction specifically seeks to prevent ICE from withholding documents on the “opt-out” policy to allow local communities to have the information necessary to make determination regarding the S-Comm program. The documents requested should have already been turned over Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) law suit filed last April, which ICE has only partially complied with.
According to advocates who have reviewed the initial S-Comm documents from the FOIA case, they reveal a pattern of dishonesty. Information about the nascent program has been scarce, and the development of operational details has been shrouded in secrecy. S-Comm, which currently operates in approximately 600 jurisdictions across the country, functions like the controversial 287(g) program and Arizona’s SB1070, making state and local police central to the enforcement of federal immigration law. The program automatically runs fingerprints through immigration databases for all people arrested and targets them for detention and deportation even if their criminal charges are minor, eventually dismissed, or the result of an unlawful arrest.