Obama Administration Weakens Secure Communities
Program Becomes Latest Target in Systematic Dismantling of U.S. Immigration Enforcement
(April 27, 2012 — Washington, D.C.) — The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency announced today that it will no longer initiate enforcement actions against deportable aliens identified by the Secure Communities program who have committed “minor” criminal offenses. This represents the Obama administration’s latest assault on immigration enforcement, charges the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The new policy is the next step in the Administration’s effort to ensure that only aliens who have been convicted of violent crimes will be subject to deportation.
Secure Communities cross-checks the fingerprints of every person arrested by state and local police against a variety of federal databases, including a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) database of immigration law violators. Deportable aliens who are identified through the Secure Communities program are turned over to ICE, rather than released on bail. The new policy will dramatically limit the number of deportable aliens in state and local jails who ICE takes action against.
“Today’s action is clear evidence that this administration will not quit until most immigration enforcement apparatus in the U.S. is shut down and should be a clear signal that this administration believes the violation of immigration laws is entirely inconsequential. The removal of violent criminal aliens only has been the lone factor in the Administration’s ability to maintain the pretense that it is enforcing our immigration laws,” noted Dan Stein, president of FAIR.
“Programs which rely on local law enforcement, like Secure Communities and 287(g) — a congressionally established program that trains local police to identify and detain illegal aliens — have provided ICE with a pipeline to identify deportable aliens,” continued Stein. “The Administration is phasing out 287(g) entirely, and now they are limiting the use of Secure Communities so that non-criminal aliens are ultimately released back onto the street.”
The latest ICE announcement is part of the Administration’s effort to prevent state and local authorities from playing a role in immigration enforcement. The Administration has made it abundantly clear through lawsuits and other actions that it does not want to enforce most U.S. immigration laws and it will not tolerate state and local policies that get in the way of their political objectives. “We are rapidly approaching the point where violent criminal aliens will be the only people who will be subject to immigration enforcement,” Stein concluded.