Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Beginning Of The End Of Secure Communities

The radical left has succeeded with their campaign against Secure Communities. The Obama Regime, has decided to slowly end Secure Communities because too many illegal aliens have been caught by the program.

Responding to a growing chorus of criticism, federal immigration officials are revamping a program designed to deport dangerous criminals.

To address concerns that too many low-level offenders are being netted, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton announced Friday that the Secure Communities program will be changed to focus more on those convicted of serious crimes.

A new advisory panel that includes local law enforcement officials and immigration advocates will come up with recommendations on how, for instance, to stop the deportation of people arrested, but not convicted, of minor traffic offenses who have no criminal history or serious immigration violations.

To deal with concerns that ethnic profiling is going on and that community policing is being hampered, there will be more training.

And to avoid cases where victims of domestic violence are deported, a new policy directs immigration officers to use discretion so that they and other crime victims aren't swept up.

"We need to do a better job of ensuring that the program is more focused on targeting those that pose the biggest risk to communities," Morton said in a statement. "Today we are undertaking several reforms--developed in collaboration with our law enforcement partners and other stakeholders--that help us achieve that goal and will improve and strengthen the program."

Officials and advocates in California have been at the forefront of pushing for change. A bill that would require that counties "opt in" to the program was passed May 26 by the Assembly and is in the Senate committee process.

The Bee editorial board also called for the program to be overhauled.

UPDATE: Some advocates blasted the changes as merely cosmetic and called for a moratorium on the program until more comprehensive reform.

"Today's announcement by ICE is simply window dressing," Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, who is the bill's author, said in a statement.

"How many more innocent people have to be swept up by the ironically named Secure Communities program before the Obama administration will change course? Talking about the need for comprehensive immigration reform is not an excuse for continuing with a flawed, unjust program that is having tragic consequences for communities across the country," he added.

Under Secure Communities, the fingerprints of everyone arrested by participating local law enforcement agencies are run through federal immigration databases.

In California, nearly 1.8 million sets of fingerprints were checked from when the program started here in May 2009 through the end of March. Of those, 172,000 were matched to illegal immigrants and nearly 39,000 were deported.

Nearly 12,000 of those deported had been convicted of violent crimes or major drug offenses. But about 16,000 were deported for lesser crimes, and nearly 11,000 were "noncriminals" - those without any convictions, though they may have had gang affiliations or have been deported previously.


And, as usual, John Morton, the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is leading the charge against Secure Communities. It is just unacceptable to the Obama Regime that illegal aliens are being deported.

Secure Communities has proven to be a critical tool for carrying out ICE's enforcement priorities. To continue to improve the program, DHS and ICE are committed to addressing concerns that have been raised about its operation including:

Limited Removal Resources: Currently, ICE receives an annual appropriation from Congress sufficient to remove a limited number of the more than 10 million individuals estimated to be in the United States unlawfully. As Secure Communities is continuing to grow each year, and is currently on track to be implemented nationwide by 2013, refining the program will enable ICE to focus its limited resources on the most serious criminals across the country.

Community Policing: Some law enforcement agencies have expressed concerns about whether Secure Communities could have an impact on witnesses and victims of crimes coming forward to report criminal activities in their communities. Given the importance of community policing, ICE is instituting additional training to ensure that law enforcement officers understand the goals and priorities of the program.

Civil Rights: As with all enforcement programs, there is a need to ensure that the civil rights of those who interact with law enforcement are protected. As Secure Communities matures into a national program, ICE is taking additional steps to ensure that it can execute its mission while continuing to respond to any potential civil rights concerns.

These additional safeguards will further protect the program from those who may undermine ICE's enforcement priorities or engage in racial or ethnic profiling:

Advisory Committee & Minor Traffic Offenses: ICE is creating a new advisory committee that will advise the Director of ICE on ways to improve Secure Communities, including making recommendations on how to best focus on individuals who pose a true public safety or national security threat. This panel will be composed of chiefs of police, sheriffs, state and local prosecutors, court officials, ICE agents from the field, and community and immigration advocates. The first report of this advisory committee will be delivered to the Director within 45 days and will provide recommendations on how ICE can adjust the Secure Communities program to mitigate potential impacts on community policing practices, including how to implement policies stopping the removal of individuals charged with, but not convicted of, minor traffic offenses who have no other criminal history or egregious immigration violations.

Prosecutorial Discretion: ICE Director Morton has issued a new memo providing guidance for ICE law enforcement personnel and attorneys regarding their authority to exercise discretion when appropriate – authority designed to help ICE better focus on meeting the priorities of both the agency and the Secure Communities program to use limited resources to target criminals and those that put public safety at risk. This memo also directs the exercise of prosecutorial discretion to ensure that victims of and witnesses to crimes are properly protected. The memo clarifies that the exercise of discretion is inappropriate in cases involving threats to public safety, national security and other agency priorities.

Training for States: ICE and the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) have developed a new training program for state and local law enforcement agencies to provide more information for state and local law enforcement about how Secure Communities works and how it relates to laws governing civil rights. The first set of training materials can be accessed here.
Protecting Victims & Witnesses of Crimes: At the direction of Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, ICE, in consultation with CRCL, has developed a new policy specifically to protect victims of domestic violence and other crimes and to ensure these crimes continue to be reported and prosecuted. This policy directs ICE officers to exercise appropriate discretion to ensure victims and witnesses to crimes are not penalized by removal. ICE is also working to develop additional tools that will help identify people who may be a victim, witness, or member of a vulnerable class so officers can exercise appropriate discretion.

Detainer Policy: ICE has revised the detainer form ICE sends to local jurisdictions to emphasize the longstanding guidance that state and local authorities are not to detain an individual for more than 48 hours. The form also requires local law enforcement to provide arrestees with a copy, which has a number to call if they believe their civil rights have been violated.

Data Collection:

ICE and CRCL have created a new complaint system whereby individuals or organizations who believe civil rights violations connected to Secure Communities have occurred can file a complaint. For example, CRCL will investigate complaints of ethnic discrimination by policing jurisdictions for which Secure Communities has been activated, and DHS will take steps to ensure that bias or other abuses do not affect immigration enforcement.

ICE and CRCL have created an ongoing quarterly statistical review of the program to examine data for each jurisdiction where Secure Communities is activated to identify effectiveness and any indications of potentially improper use of the program. Statistical outliers in local jurisdictions will be subject to an in-depth analysis and DHS and ICE will take appropriate steps to resolve any issues.

Morton and the Obama Regime's intent is readily apparent from the emphasis on the review of the local success of the program:

Data Collection:

ICE and CRCL have created a new complaint system whereby individuals or organizations who believe civil rights violations connected to Secure Communities have occurred can file a complaint. For example, CRCL will investigate complaints of ethnic discrimination by policing jurisdictions for which Secure Communities has been activated, and DHS will take steps to ensure that bias or other abuses do not affect immigration enforcement.

ICE and CRCL have created an ongoing quarterly statistical review of the program to examine data for each jurisdiction where Secure Communities is activated to identify effectiveness and any indications of potentially improper use of the program. Statistical outliers in local jurisdictions will be subject to an in-depth analysis and DHS and ICE will take appropriate steps to resolve any issues.

By resolving issues they mean not enforcing the law. The import is that any statistical review of the program, or of complaints directed against local law enforcement agencies will find that there is what is euphemistically called "ethnic discrimination." Not that that is illegal. There is no law against any statistical difference in the arrest and deportation of any group of persons. In fact there is an open and obvious discrimination against persons based on national origin. Only aliens are deported and the more aliens of any national group, such as Mexicans, will result in complaints of ethnic discrimination.

Of course, the problem is the correlation of so-called ethnicity, which does not have a legal definition, with nationality. More complicating is that Federal law does not recognize Hispanics as a race. And, of course, there is no Hispanic ethnicity as well, since persons with Spanish last names come from a variety of races and nationalities.

But, in the end, the problem is that too many Mexicans and others from Central and South America are being deported by the Federal government, but that is because the majority of illegal aliens in the U.S. are from Mexico, much less adding the rest of illegal aliens from Central and South America.

The plan though with this supposed review is that local agencies enforcing the laws against illegal immigration are targeted for lawsuits and exclusion from the Secure Communities program, such as Maricopa County.

The problem though is that the Federal government itself deports people in ethnically disproportionate numbers: Mexicans make up an overwhelming number of deportees. So just how will DHS claim that Maricopa County or Los Angeles County are discriminating against so-called Hispanics when they themselves given the statistical review are also discriminating against Hispanics.

But the purpose of the review is not ferreting out discrimination, but lowering the number of illegal aliens deported. Just another aspect of the Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty. And, the eventual end of the Secure Communities program. It is just too successful. The same reason Obama will veto any E-Verify legislation. The goal is to allow as many as possible illegal aliens to remain in the United States.

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