On the (Not So) Voluntary Nature of Secure Communities and it’s Expansion

Seems like immigration policy under the current administration is rooted in double-speak. How else to explain how a program named “Secure Communities” has proven to detain and deport not just the “bad” immigrants, but those without criminal backgrounds, making immigrant communities less safe. Now there are more reports showing just how “voluntary” the program which runs all “criminal” suspects’ fingerprints through an immigration database really is.

From the San Francisco Examiner:

A voluntary program to run all criminal suspects’ fingerprints through an immigration database was only voluntary until cities refused to participate, thousands of recently released documents show. The Obama administration then tightened the rules so that cities had no choice but to have the fingerprints checked.

The documents made public by the Homeland Security Department provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the administration scrambled to quiet the criticisms and negative publicity surrounding the immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities.

The administration rewrote the program’s participation rules, the documents show, considered withholding federal funding and FBI information from resisters and eventually dug up case law to justify requiring cooperation.


As immigration advocates tell us to watch our backs because of GOP efforts to seek massive deportation as national policy, it seems like the Obama administration is just as willing to create a national deportation policy but is just not as honest about it, as a matter of policy.

“The SC (Secure Communities) initiative will remain voluntary at the state and local level. . Until such time as localities begin to push back on participation, we will continue with this current line of thinking,” says an e-mail written by Randi Greenberg, the communications and outreach chief of the program. It was sent to several people whose names DHS blacked out before releasing the documents.

Obama’s controversial 2012 FY Budget seeks to increase funding for Secure Communities, making it the law of the land.

From New America Media:

Despite numerous budget cuts in the proposed budget for fiscal year 2012, resources to control and reduce illegal immigration experienced some gains. The proposed budget includes an expansion of Secure Communities to 97 percent of jurisdictions nationwide in 2012.

It is currently in effect in 1,030 jurisdictions in 38 states. “The budget includes $184 million for its expansion,” according to Peggy Sherry, chief financial officer for the Department of Homeland Security.

Tomorrow 15,000 internal ICE documents will be made public and available online at Uncover the Truth as a result of a FOIA lawsuit filed in the Southern District of New York by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Immigration Justice Clinic of Benjamin Cardozo School of Law to demand records relating to the Secure Communities program.

Post to Twitter

3 comments on “On the (Not So) Voluntary Nature of Secure Communities and it’s Expansion
  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention fast work! RT On the (Not So) Voluntary Nature of Secure Communities & it’s Expansion #stopice -- Topsy.com

  2. The only way to extricate ourselves from this Dem/Gop monopoly on Immigration and everything else is to unite behind a third party.

    It won’t be enough for the far-left or the far-right(such as Socialist/Libertarian parties) to stand on their own. A unified front of sorts a la Egypt is what will be required for any real change.

  3. Pingback: 15,000 Pages of Documents on Secure Communities Reveals Possibilities for Opt-Out | VivirLatino

Comments are closed.