The Obama administration announced last month plans to repair Se Communities, the program that compels state and local police to join its wide and expanding hunt for illegal immigrants. From now on, when illegal immigrants are stopped for traffic violations by local police, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will consider detaining and deporting them only after they have been convicted, not before. In theory, this minor policy shift could reduce the number of people arrested on a pretext and held for deportation. But that’s unlikely. And it doesn’t fix the fundamental flaws in a discredited program. The administration has faced fierce criticism from law-enforcement officials and immigrant advocates for ensnaring far too many minor offenders and noncriminals as it has rapidly expanded Se Communities and ramped up deportations to a record pace of 400,000 a year. It contends that most are criminals, though that still includes many minor offenders.
Read more http://immigrationforum.org/blog/display/ice-offers-inadequate-response-to-se-communities-task-force
El Gobierno de EE.UU. mantendrá en pie el polémico programa federal ‘Comunidades Seguras’, con pequeñas modificaciones que, en su conjunto, no remediarán por completo la detención y deportación de indocumentados por infracciones de tránsito. En respuesta a las reformas que recomendó en septiembre de 2011 un Grupo de Trabajo sobre el programa federal, el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS) anunció el viernes pasado que hará menos énfasis en la detención de indocumentados que hayan cometido infracciones de tránsito menores, como conducir sin la debida licencia. Pero la recomendación clave del Grupo de Trabajo, que realizó consultas en todo Estados Unidos, era que las autoridades federales evitasen por completo la deportación por esas infracciones.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Friday announced a policy change for its Se Communities program, hoping to address concerns raised by advocacy groups and an agency task force. Those critics were unimpressed, saying the reform did little to respond to complaints about the way ICE detects and removes undocumented immigrants. The announcement was in response to a task force report that called for reforms to Se Communities, an enforcement program President Barack Obama’s administration considers crucial to its removal effort. Five members of the task force resigned in protest because they did not support the final recommendation. “The task force recommendations themselves were wholly inadequate,” Sarahi Uribe, campaign coordinator for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said. “To take recommendations that were to start with inadequate and then to only adopt an even more watered-down version is absurd. It will have absolutely no impact.”
The more things change the more they stay the same. At least, online that’s the way it has been with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its despised Se Communities deportation program. Despite a task force assembled last year and its recommendations to reform the dreaded program, no meaningful change has taken place. “ICE has failed to make any substantive changes to its fundamentally flawed Se Communities program, site refusing even to establish a review panel to examine specific cases,” said Michelle Fei, co-director of the Immigrant Defense Project, which led the effort to suspend the program in New York through a coalition known as the New York State Working Group Against Deportation. “The agency has already deported over one million immigrants under President Obama’s watch by funneling immigrants into an unfair immigration system that only compounds the injustices of the criminal justice system,” added Fei. – NY Daily News
The U.S. Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement agency has taken much criticism for its “Se Communities” initiative, where participating local police departments give immigration officials access to the fingerprints of people brought into its jails. In September, for instance, a Department of Homeland Security task force released a report listing its concerns with the policy, mainly that it undermined police efforts at community policing and that ICE agents must more efficiently focus resources on targeting serious criminals over minor offenders. So last week, after months of review, ICE unveiled a plan for reform, which primarily centers on training memos and videos, new complaint filing process, and more than 700 “in-person or telephone meetings and presentations” regarding Se Communities. Immigration advocates see the reforms as a cop-out — no significant policy changes, just a promise to apply the old policies better.
Read more http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/apr/30/ice-announces-change-se-communities-deportatio/
Immigration officials say they will no longer immediately detain suspected illegal immigrants who are arrested only on minor traffic violations and have no criminal history. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Barbara Gonzalez said Friday that immigration agents will now consider detaining people arrested on minor traffic offenses — provided they have no criminal history — only if they are convicted of these offenses. The change responds to recommendations from a task force that reviewed a federal program that checks arrestees’ fingerprints against immigration records. Immigrant advocates say the modifications are too minor to revamp a program they say leads to racial profiling and lands too many people without criminal records in detention.
Read more http://www.ajc.com/news/fewer-people-stopped-for-1427768.html
So the so-called Se Communities program, which we prefer to call S-COM – because really it doesn’t make anyone any safer – is a federal deportation program. It’s tremendously controversial, and it is undermining public safety. It is putting victims and witnesses of crimes at risk of being deported, s and also burdening our local governments. The program operates through the sending of fingerprints. Whenever someone is arrested for any reason at all, their fingerprints are now sent off not just to the FBI, as they always were, but also to immigration officials. So from that fingerprint, what can come back almost instantly is what is called a detainer, or hold request. And that is a cruel request to trap a community member in our local jails when they would otherwise be let go. So we’ve seen victims, survivors of domestic violence, who may be arrested along with their abuser. And then they’re about to be let go as they should be, and suddenly they have this hold and it’s this…