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…
Jeff Biggers: At Supreme Court, Arizona Leaves Affected Voices at Home: Q A With Carlos Garcia, Puente Human Rights Advocate
While Gov. Jan Brewer unceremoniously dumped her disgraced SB 1070 partner Russell Pearce from Arizona’s front seats at tomorrow’s historic Supreme Court hearing on the state’s controversial immigration law, the seminal voices of those most affected by Arizona’s punitive measures will remain tucked away in the shadows — and unheard, even in the
The U.S. Supreme Court takes up yet another incendiary election issue Wednesday when it hears arguments on a controversial Arizona law that targets illegal immigrants. As with last month’s test of the Obama health care overhaul, the case pits the federal government’s assertion of power against some states, and with some exceptions, it pits
The Orwellian-named “Se” Communities deportation program was rolled out under a cloud of deception so thick that last year, Rep. Zoe Lofgren of San Jose declared that immigration officialslied to her and local governments about the program. Lofgren rightfully asked the Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog, Office of Inspector General (OIG), to investigate. But last Friday, it became painfully clear that this “watchdog” no longer has any teeth, and that solutions like California’s TRUST Act are more urgent than ever. Hours after OIG issued two tepid reports this morning whose recommendations paper over the program’s serious safety and civil rights violations, news broke that the so-called watchdog itself isunder investigation by the FBI and US Dept. of Justice.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren says the federal Se Communities law should be improved before it is fully implemented by the end of next year. Warren said today that the law as it currently stands does not focus on violent offenders and would create barriers between immigrant communities and local police. The Harvard Law School professor spoke to reporters after appearing at a Statehouse event held by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Coalition. Under Se Communities, look fingerprints taken from a crime suspect by local police would be turned over to federal authorities, who could bring deportation proceedings if the person was in the U.S. illegally. – Boston Herald
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s tough illegal immigration enforcement and the struggles of a young girl are the subjects of a new documentary. The film, “Two Americans” is making its debut this weekend. It profiles a little girl born in this country and her illegal immigrant parents who were arrested, along with Arizona’s controversial
Immigration rights groups are planning to protest when Arizona’s immigration enforcement law goes before the U.S. Supreme Court. Advocacy groups such as Somos America and the American Civil Liberties Union will announce plans Friday in downtown Phoenix for a march against state and federal immigration policies. To be held April 25, the march is
Decenas de personas protestaron hoy en Maryland contra el programa Comunidades Seguras, view que faculta a policías locales a cooperar con el Servicio de Inmigración y Aduanas (ICE) para la deportación de extranjeros con antecedentes penales. El activista comunitario de la organización Casa de Maryland, Lindolfo Carballo, dijo que varios dirigentes reunieron 600 firmas para pedir a las autoridades y la policía del condado de Montgomery que eviten la discriminación en la aplicación de la ley. “Es hora de decir basta” a Comunidades Seguras, “que convierte a la policía en agente de inmigración”, señaló Carballo. El programa cuestionado fue iniciado por el anterior presidente George W. Bush, y ha continuado y expandido bajo el gobierno de Barack Obama.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner Phil Wowak on Tuesday found himself caught between an encroaching federal immigration program and resistance from local Latinos who want the county’s top law enforcement official to take a strong stand against it. Appearing before the county Board of Supervisors, Wowak outline his plans to layer his own local reviews into a Department of Homeland Security program known as Se Communities, which uses local jail bookings to help deport undocumented immigrants. It is aimed at those with a history of violence. But critics say the program sweeps up nonviolent offenders and even U.S. citizens, and local rights groups say Se Communities could impact public safety here by making illegal immigrants more reluctant to contact police. They want Wowak to resist the program. Wowak said he would implement assessments of jailed immigrants.
The federal immigration enforcement program supported by Sheriff Lee Baca and used in county jails has faced growing local opposition in the past two years. Now Se Communities is facing scrutiny from the feds themselves. Two recent internal reports question whether the Department failed to communicate early on whether states and counties had any choice in joining Se Communities. Another addresses whether the enforcement program has been effective. The reports were a response to Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren from San Jose, a critic of the program. The way Se Communities works is simple: when a person is booked into county jail, the detainee’s fingerprint information is shared with immigration authorities. If the person is in the country illegally, deportation proceedings could begin immediately.