While the Obama administration has started to relax on the prosecution of illegal immigrants who have no criminal records, they have decided to stick with Secure Communities, the discredited but rapidly growing immigration-enforcement program that has helped it deport a million people in the last two and a half years.
Secure Communities is a program that creates a system of information sharing to find illegal immigrants by using local law enforcement to run immigration checks. The police agency sends an arrested person’s fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the prints are automatically forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security for an immigration check.
Local law-enforcement professionals argue against Secure Communities because it hurts community policing because it makes innocent immigrants fear the police and erodes the trust and cooperation of crime victims and witnesses. It also increases the danger of racial profiling and other constitutional abuses in immigrant neighborhoods.
I agree that program does more harm than good especially on the racial profiling issue. It has the same effects as the controversial law in Arizona without all the press. While I concede there is a need for office cooperation, the government needs to search for a policy that allows them to maximize enforcement using its own resources. Don’t local police have enough to worry about instead of doing the federal government’s job.
The feds are insisting that Secure Communities will be imposed on every state by 2013.