As DREAMers around the country fight deportations and demand administrative relief, the Obama administration is keeping its promise by enforcing a broken and racist immigration system. Today Secure Communities, the federal program that has helped Obama maintain record number deportations, goes live in Washington D.C.
In 2010 Washington, DC became the first local jurisdiction in the country to officially opt-out of S-Comm when the program was still voluntary. In response to growing criticism, the federal government cancelled local memorandums of agreement governing the program and made it mandatory.
At a press conference yesterday, councilmembers pledged their commitment to enact the Immigration Detainer Compliance Act that will mitigate the impacts of the “Secure Communities” program.
The act would limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s use of District facilities and equipment and also narrows S-Comm’s deportation dragnet by only responding to immigration detention requests for individuals who are over 18 and have been convicted of a dangerous crime. The Act which, which was unanimously co-sponsored by all DC councilmembers, builds upon the Mayor’s Order 2011-174 (October 19, 2011) which prohibits all public safety agencies from inquiring about individuals’ immigration status or transmit information about immigration status.
The act tries to do what S-Comm was allegedly supposed to do, target only “dangerous” and “bad” immigrants. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s own statistics have shown that has not been the case. That even so called “good” immigrants, those without serious charges have been put into deportation.