Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s practices with local police are facing scrutiny this week as the injunction on the racial profiling provision of SB1070 was lifted and section 2b went into effect. ICE had previously rescinded Maricopa County’s 287(g) agreement–which enabled local sheriffs in Arpaio’s office to act as immigration officers–after the Department of Justice exposed what agents described as the ‘worst case of racial profiling’ they had ever personally witnessed. However, ICE maintains its Se Communities deportation program, which targets anyone brought into an Arizona jail for deportation. Outside Arizona, the agency faces further trouble due to a similar Department of Justice report just issued on Alamance County<, North Carolina that prompted the Department of Homeland Security to cut its 287(g) program there in response to a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination.
As ICE faces questions about how it will react to patterns of discrimination and the likelihood of increasing racial profiling under SB1070, a letter from director John Morton to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an organization on the Anti-Defamation League’s list of hate groups, which states that ICE “shares their concerns” about positive legislation in Cook County, Illinois and thanks them for their support is stirring further controversy in Washington and in states that are looking for ways to protect residents from discrimination and negative consequences of police/ICE collaboration.
The following is a statement from Chris Newman, Legal Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, in reaction to news:
“The outrageous, offensive, and inaccurate communication to a known hate group reveals the desperate lengths the ICE Director will now travel to defend his misguided Se Communities and ‘ICE hold’ policy. The Department of Justice report on Alamance County is yet another example of the calamity caused by local Sheriffs’ enforcement of immigration law. What is deemed unjust to the DOJ is apparently deemed desirable to ICE. We used to believe that ICE was simply blind to the civil rights violations it was causing, but now there is reason to believe the agency’s director has been willfully ignorant. ICE is a rogue agency, and we call on the White House to take swift action to save the administration from further embarrassment.”