A top federal law enforcement official confirmed for New England Cable News Monday that the Vermont rollout of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s information-sharing program known as Se Communities will happen Tuesday. It is already operational in most of the country, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, official told NECN. At the Burlington, Vt. offices of the advocacy group Migrant Justice, Danilo Lopez worried about the measure’s implementation. “Many more people will be deported because of this program,” Lopez predicted. ICE insists Se Communities will be a helpful tool to share fingerprint records between the FBI and Homeland Security, targeting threats to public safety from people who are in this country unlawfully. A fingerprint gathered during an investigation of a minor crime may reveal a more serious history of offenses, the ICE official said.
A federal program aimed at identifying illegal immigrants who are arrested for crimes expanded to Vermont on Tuesday, touching off opposition from advocacy groups for immigrants. Those groups say the Se Communities program was implemented by the federal government in Vermont without consulting state officials, ed and they fear it will help destroy a trust that most of the state’s law enforcement community has worked to build with the immigrant community. The nationwide program, now in 46 states and Puerto Rico, enables police to check the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants by sharing their fingerprints with the Department of Homeland Security. The group Migrant Justice held a protest outside the Vermont campaign headquarters of President Barack Obama in Burlington on Tuesday afternoon with about 40 people. They started to march shortly before 6 p.m.
With a nearly unanimous vote at Monday’s town meeting, the Town of Amherst decided to opt out of the controversial Se Communities Program. Se Communities is a program designed by the Department of Homeland Security to crack down on illegal immigrants who commit crimes, as well as those who continually violate immigration laws. By passing Article 29, Amherst residents chose not to participate. Through the resolution, community members said that they wanted to make sure local law enforcement agencies could not stop anyone randomly just to check their immigration status. Amherst’s resolution specifically states, “Municipal employees of the Town of Amherst, including law enforcement employees, shall not monitor, stop, detain, question, interrogate or search a person for the purpose of determining that individual’s immigration status.”
‘TRUST Act 2.0′: Amended CA bill would only let cops hold convicted criminals for ICE | Multi-American
A year ago, order a bill was moving through the California state legislature that aimed to make optional counties and cities’ participation in the controversial Se Communities immigration enforcement program. At the time, California was one of several states in which some state and law enforcement officials had come out against the federal program, store which allows the fingerprints of people booked at local jails to be shared with immigration officials. The bill was rendered moot last August, after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rescinded state agreements with the agency allowing Se Communities to operate. The decision essentially made the program mandatory, leaving states no choice but to go along. As a counter to that, the same California lawmaker behind last year’s bill is now pushing an alternative dubbed TRUST Act 2.0.