California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill on Saturday limiting the state’s cooperation with federal immigration authorities, a rebuke of a major Obama administration enforcement policy that has led to record deportations from the state. As the Congress stalls on immigration reform, action continues in the states, and advocates and politicians in California hope they can serve as an example of how to do it right. “While Washington waffles on immigration, California’s forging ahead,” Brown said in a press release after signing the legislation into law. “I’m not waiting.” The new California law, known as the Trust Act, limits the state’s cooperation with Se Communities, a federal program that allows the Department of Homeland Security to access fingerprints taken by local police, to screen detained individuals for immigration status and to request that law enforcement agencies hold them if they’re found to be undocumented.
Opposition is growing against a new policy that would allow federal immigration screenings in jails across the United States. The immigration enforcement policy, look known as Se Communities, has caused the deportation of around 280,000 illegal immigrants in the last few years. There are definitely people who are for the program nationwide, but more and more people are fighting against it. “We’re finally seeing the tide turning against the idea that it is good to use police as deportation agents,” said Chris Newman of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. According to Stateline, the Se Communities program allows the screenings to take place for criminals who are suspected may be here illegally.
Should local police be involved in enforcing the nation’s immigration laws? The answer to this question may seem obvious. After all, a law is a law. But the answer is neither that simple, nor that straightforward. The Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that the federal government has exclusive powers to enact and enforce immigration law. But a patchwork of laws and policies call on local law enforcement authorities to participate in immigration enforcement. Key among these is the Se Communities deportation program, or S-Comm. Under S-Comm, when law enforcement authorities take someone’s fingerprints, the prints are sent automatically from the FBI to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement database for an immigration background check. ICE then decides when to send a detainer request to local law enforcement agencies. While the immigrant is incarcerated, ICE decides whether to take further action.
Advocates for immigrants have gained ground in the last six months in their long fight against a U.S. policy allowing federal immigration officials to screen suspects in local jails. Now they are close to notching their biggest victory yet. In California, order the home of nearly 2.5 million unauthorized immigrants, seek lawmakers this month once again passed the so-called Trust Act, which would block local police from holding suspects for immigration agents when they would otherwise be free to go. Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has until mid-October to decide whether to sign the law.
Editorial: Driver’s licenses for immigrants will make California’s roads safer – Editorials – The Sacramento Bee
A good number of law enforcement officials are also rightly backing another bill, which would shield some people in the country illegally but without serious criminal records from immigration holds and deportations. Brown vetoed a bill on the same issue last year, story expressing fears it would block federal immigration authorities from removing dangerous criminals. This version, Assembly Bill 4, has been narrowed to address those concerns and deserves Brown’s support. Known as the Trust Act, it would allow police to hold illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes, including some misdemeanors; those charged with a serious or violent felony when probable cause has been found; and registered sex offenders or arsonists. But it would prohibit police from holding those arrested for minor crimes – illegal street vending or traffic violations, for instance – solely for immigration purposes.
This report1 addresses the impact on Miami-Dade County of the Se Communities program, currently one of the primary federal immigration enforcement programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). DHS claims that the program prioritizes the removal of convicted criminal aliens who pose a danger to national security or public safety, repeat violators who game the immigration system, those who fail to appear at immigration hearings, and fugitives who have already been ordered removed by an immigration judge
Five government agencies will pay $1.2 million in legal fees after having to disclose documents on a controversial fingerprinting and deportation program, s a rights group says. In April 2010, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and others sued the FBI, the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Office of Legal Counsel and two other agencies seeking information about Se Communities, or S-Comm. The plaintiffs, which include the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, said the "error-prone" system would be instituted nationwide "without sufficient transparency, oversight, or public engagement." Ostensibly developed to target criminals, the system was allegedly flush with immigrants whom authorities fingerprinted for minor traffic offenses to meet deportation quotas. The groups sought the information as ammunition for a campaign urging supporters to "End Se Communiti..
A report released this week by the University of Illinois at Chicago and PolicyLink should make all of us who are concerned about crime take notice. The team behind the report, stuff Inse Communities: Latino Perceptions of Police Involvement in Immigration Enforcement, site surveyed Latino communities in four major counties and found a disturbing mistrust of local police among Latino communities. Forty-four percent of Latinos surveyed, including almost 30 percent of U.S.-born Latinos, said they would be unlikely to contact the police if they had been the victim of a crime because they fear they will be asked about their immigration status or that of someone they know.
¿Será verdad que el gobierno de Barack Obama está deportando, sobre todo, criminales? – Univision Noticias
Watch NDLON’s Chris Newman explain the impact of SComm on immigrant communities and their relationship to the police
This week, a new report dealt what may be the greatest blow yet to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s strained credibility over its deportation practices. The report, authored by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), determined that the overwhelming majority of people ICE has asked local jails to hold for deportation had no convictions. Researchers also found that ICE has asked local jails to hold hundreds of citizens, in flagrant violation of the Constitution. The troubled agency has strenuously claimed it prioritizes its resources to focus deportations on the most "serious" cases. But nothing could be further from the truth. Hundreds of thousands of separated families know this all too well, and statistics from controversial deportation programs like "Se" Communities have also highlighted the gap between ICE’s rhetoric and reality. But now, we have more extensive evidence of just how out of control ICE is.