Saturday, August 6, 2011

U.S. ICE No Longer Needs Authorization From State Governments To Implement Secure Communities

John Morton

ICE terminates Secure Communities agreements with 40 states.

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 6, 2011

Washington, D.C. - John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently sent out letters to 40 state governments announcing that ICE will no longer need their authorization to implement Secure Communities Program (SCP). Some of the states wanted to opt-out of the SCP program because ICE was deporting more non-criminal illegal immigrants than criminal undocumented suspects. SCP is a fingerprinting sharing initiative to identify undocumented suspects held for domestic violations or criminal charges at any county jail in the U.S.
Morton determined that ICE doesn't need to make agreements with state governments inorder to get access to fingerprinting data of arrests. ICE will now automatically share the fingerprinting data with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), since it is part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and already shares the information.
According to Morton, ICE uses an already-existing federal information-sharing partnership with the FBI that helps to identify criminal aliens without imposing new or additional requirements on state and local law enforcement. For decades, local jurisdictions have shared the fingerprints of individuals who are booked into jails with the FBI to see, if they have a criminal record. Under Secure Communities, the FBI automatically sends the fingerprints to ICE to check against its immigration databases. If these checks reveal that an individual is unlawfully present in the United States or otherwise removable due to a criminal conviction, ICE takes enforcement action – prioritizing the removal of individuals who present the most significant threats to public safety as determined by the severity of their crime, their criminal history, and other factors – as well as those who have repeatedly violated immigration laws.
Secure Communities imposes no new or additional requirements on state and local law enforcement, and the federal government, not the state or local law enforcement agency, determines what immigration enforcement action, if any, is appropriate.
Only federal DHS officers make immigration enforcement decisions, and they do so only after an individual is arrested for a criminal violation of state law, separate and apart from any violations of immigration law, according to ICE website.
ICE recently reported that about 400 thousand undocumented immigrants are deported every year from the U.S. and with the SCP implemented by ICE, the deportations could rise to 800,000 per year. The previous program under agreement with states was suppose to target criminal undocument immigrants, but only several hundred thousand have been detained and deported in two years. The rest of the deportations were at least 600,000 non-criminal illegal immigrants who were deported under Secure Communities within several years, according to ICE.
The National Institute of Migration in Mexico reported 66,704 Mexican nationals were deported from the U.S. between January and February 2011, 63,970 were over 18 and 2,734 were minors. ICE deported, 30,844 in January and 35,860 in February, of the adults, 57,908 were men and 6,062 were women. (Source Notimex)
Recently, U.S. ICE deportations have increased under President Barack H. Obama. More than 1,000 of undocumented immigrants are being deported per day (387,790 per year) under Obama's administration (400,000 families with U.S. citizen members are being destroyed by deportations according to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights), compared to almost 650 daily deportations (240,000 per year) under former President George W. Bush. (Source: La Jornada Morelos, 3/9/2010)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security reported that 10.8 million of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., 62% are Mexican nationals. In 2008, more than 12 million of undocumented immigrants resided in the U.S. An estimated more than 4 million U.S. born children have at least one or both parents who are undocumented.
In early December of 2010, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report indicated that the approval of the DREAM Act would help cut the federal deficit by $1.4 billion, and generate $2.3 billion in corporate and social insurance taxes within the next ten years.
Last year, the DREAM Act was killed in the U.S. Senate because it failed to get the needed 60 votes to prevent a filibuster inorder for the bill to proceed for a Senate vote.
Today, U.S. House Republicans are trying to implement E-Vertify System for employers to use the federal system to vertify the legal status of all employees. The system has flaws, according to Obama, who wants it fixed first before it is used.

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