Monday, January 24, 2011

The Campaign Against Secure Communities Continues

Secure Communities is a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program designed to identify immigrants in U.S. jails who are deportable under immigration law. Participating jails submit arrestees’ fingerprints not only to the criminal databases they have historically checked, but also to immigration databases. This provides ICE instantaneous information on individuals held in jails. As of October, the program was available in 686 local jurisdictions in 33 states. The program will be implemented in all 3,100 state and local jails in the nation by 2013.
Secure Communities is cost-effective and useful in identifying and removing illegal aliens who engage in criminal activity of any level. It is not just designed as the critics say for only serious criminals, it is for all those arrested. Of course it was never designed to identify witnesses or victims of crimes and has never been used for that. Only those aliens arrested are processed and identified through Secure Communities. But leftists groups either implicitly or explicitly have claimed that Secure Communities is similar to 287(g) where local law enforcement officials are deputized as ICE agents and take proactive measures against illegal aliens.
The Reds at the Immigration Policy Center, a pro-amnesty and pro-illegal alien group, implies that Secure Communities is directed at those illegal aliens not arrested:
Obstacles to community policing. Unlike the 287(g) program, Secure Communities does not require an MOA between ICE and the local jail, sheriff, or police department. Nonetheless, there are still concerns about local police being seen as immigration agents. If ICE maintains a presence—even a technological presence—in a local jail, the public will likely associate the local law-enforcement agency with immigration enforcement.
Other Red groups are more explicit like New American Media, a racist hate whitey group:
Essentially, DHS’ message is this: Being an immigrant makes you a criminal. This dangerous conflation not only promotes abusive policing practices, such as racial profiling, but also creates divisions and distrust in communities. It hurts public safety because immigrant communities are less likely to report crimes or cooperate with police for fear of deportation. It also disturbingly dehumanizes people who are an integral part of our communities and our national identity.
Their position is that illegal aliens have a right to be here and if they haven't committed a serious crime, can't be deported. They are ignoring the fact that the U.S. has immigration laws. Even if a person arrested is not prosecuted, they are still illegal aliens, and subject to deportation. Also note that they refuse to identify the "immigrants" they speak of as illegal aliens, the correct term for aliens unlawfully present in the U.S.
The leftists have a concerted and ongoing campaign against Secure Communities and today is no exception. Apparently the left is concerned about women arrested for domestic violence. They think women should not be arrested for that crime and are upset that although women commit more domestic violence than men, they should not suffer any consquences from their behavior. All know that police rarely arrest women for domestic violence, usually only when there is evidence of that violence. And all know that prosecutors, especially in leftist jurisdictions, hardly ever prosecute women for their crimes. But leftists are upset that Secure Communities is identifying female illegal aliens involved in domestic violence.
A woman calls police because she is the victim of a domestic violence incident. Police arrive, but the attacker accuses the woman of being the aggressor. Unable to sort out blame, police arrest both people.Charges are dropped against the woman, but because of a new federal program that The City has been forced to participate in, her fingerprints are sent through a federal database.

Federal immigration officials find out she is an undocumented immigrant who they have been trying to deport and demand the sheriff keep her in custody. Within weeks, a victim of domestic violence is being deported because she reported the incident to police.
That precise scenario has played out at least three times in recent months in Northern California, according to Angela Chan, a San Francisco police commissioner and immigration attorney. She and other local law enforcement officials worry such cases will deter the reporting of domestic violence by undocumented immigrants.
And it appears there is no solution. Sheriff Michael Hennessey has attempted to opt out of the federal Secure Communities program, which since June has required his office to turn over every fingerprint taken to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Although there was hope new California Attorney General Kamala Harris could find a legal way for the department to not participate, Hennessey said last week his office has been informed there is no legal way to opt out.

The program conflicts with San Francisco’s long-standing sanctuary ordinance, which has protected undocumented immigrants who are arrested but not charged, or only charged with a misdemeanor. Also, Hennessey expressed frustration with the way the program has been implemented.

“It’s just been one disaster after another in terms of how they’ve rolled this out,” he said. “It’s the worst rollout of a federal program since the Susan B. Anthony dollar.”
Acting police Chief Jeff Godown described the program as a messy situation. “The SFPD is not in the immigration business,” he said. “Would I like to opt out of it? The answer is yes.”

Chan said she knows of three victims of domestic violence, two of whom are her clients, who are now being deported. One case, involving a person Chan identified only as M.H., a Japanese national married to a U.S. citizen — and the mother of his 1-year-old daughter — was arrested and turned over to the ICE after calling police during a physical altercation.
Her daughter has been turned over to foster care, and M.H. is in custody and fighting
deportation. Chan said the case, which predated Secure Communities by several weeks, is becoming more common with the program.
And ICE does not seem happy about arresting female illegal aliens either. Instead of enthusiastically endoring Secure Communities, ICE spokeswomen Lori Haley is almost appoligizing for it:

ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said she was not familiar with that or the other cases and would not comment on specifics. She said the Secure Communities program is intended to help federal officials catch serious criminals.

“Our goal is to protect public safety,” Haley said. “That’s where our priority is.”
Someone should inform Haley that ICE's responsibility is to enforce the immigration and customs laws of the United States. If you don't enjoy that job and can not project an enthusiastic image of your work, perhaps you should go elsewhere.

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