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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

DHS Inspector to Investigate Secure Communities Program

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Acting on a request for House Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Democrat Zoe Lofgren, DHS' Office of Inspector General will launch an investigation of the Secure Communities program.

[Note: Apologies to readers for inadvertantly initially noting the 287(g) program was being investigated. Secure Communities is similar to 287(g) in terms of DHS entering in to agreements with state and local law enforcement. Secure Communities is largely about information sharing between the agencies while 287(g) allows local law enforcement to carry out arrests and detention of immigrants. The programs are often discussed jointly and both have come under criticism, but as a few readers have correctly noted, they are different.]

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  1. Andrew's Avatar
    I think you mean Secure Communities, no?
  2. Jack's Avatar
    Differences according to Immigration Policy Center:

    "Unlike other ICE-local partnerships, Secure Communities gives ICE a technological, not physical, presence in prisons and jails."

    "Unlike the 287(g) program, Secure Communities does not require an MOA between ICE and the local jail, sheriff, or police department."

    "[N]o local law-enforcement agents are deputized to enforce immigration laws through Secure Communities."

    A distinction is that Secure Communities is completely dependent on what immigration records are in the National Crime Information Center database.
  3. Osvaldo's Avatar
    Secure Communities and 287(g) are absolutely NOT "the same thing." SC is a program of implementation of a statutorily-imposed information-sharing requirement, focusing specifically on IAFIS/IDENT interoperability. 287(g) is a completely separate program relating to delegation of immigration enforcement authority to a state or local jurisdiction. And in any event, Lofgren is not asking for the Inspector General to investigate 287(g); she wants an investigation of the SC opt-out controversy.
  4. Renew Green Card's Avatar
    This should have been done years ago.
  5. Another Voice's Avatar
    So let me get this straight, they are going to investigate themselves? How much wrong doing are they going to find against themselves? This is PR....
  6. Another Voice's Avatar
    More States Toss Costly Immigration Legislation in Final Days of Session

    Copy Cat Legislation, Enforcement, Immigration Blog, State and Local Immigration Law, Undocumented Immigration by Seth Hoy
    As many state legislative session wrap up for the year, more lawmakers are jumping ship on controversial enforcement measures targeting undocumented immigrants. Whether they are under pressure from business groups, conflicted over the bills' substance, or realize that these measures will cost their state millions in legal challenges, implementation expenses and tourism revenue, lawmakers are not finding the same appetite for "get tough" enforcement legislation as they did last year.

    This month, Florida's Legislature failed to pass SB 2040--a hotly contested immigration measure that would have, in part, "required police to make a reasonable effort to determine the immigration status of people they arrest and jail"--before it adjourned for the year. The watered-down Senate bill was stripped of an E-verify amendment, something Florida Gov. Rick Scott really pushed for, and ended up being voted down by the conservative House. It's also worth noting that the bill was strongly opposed by business and agricultural leaders like the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Disney and Florida Agriculture Commissioner.

    This week, Oklahoma's House shot down HB 1446--a bill which would have, among other things, allowed the seizure of vehicles used in human trafficking, made it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek employment, required employers to verify the immigration status of potential employees and made it a felony to engage in human trafficking. Republicans complained that the bill didn't target employers who hire undocumented workers and Democrats said the immigration should be taken up by the federal government. Oklahoma's legislative session adjourns next week.

    Tennessee's House Budget Committee delayed their "get tough" immigration bill (HB 1380) this week-- which would have allowed state and local law enforcement officers to check the legal status of person, stopped for a violation, if there is reasonable suspicion that the individual is in the country illegally--until 2012 due to the $3 million price tag. Opponents of the bill pointed to businesses' "misgivings about the law enforcement bill" and the "negative image for the state."

    And in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder recently told the Chamber of Commerce that an Arizona-style enforcement bill would "encourage a divisive atmosphere" and that the state doesn't need it. Michigan state Rep. Dave Agema introduced Arizona-style HB 4305 in February. The bill is still awaiting action in the House Committee on Judiciary.

    States that have passed restrictive immigration measures, however, are facing (or are likely to face) costly uphill court battles. Atlanta immigration attorney Charles Kuck, for example, described Georgia's law (HB 87) as unconstitutional and said he's working with several national groups on a lawsuit challenging HB 87, which was signed into law last week.

    Similarly, immigration advocates in Indiana--where Governor Mitch Daniels recently signed SB 590, a watered-down immigration enforcement bill--is calling the law a "risk to public safety and economic security alike" and are threatening to use "all available resources to counter these divisive and costly activities."

    To date, Arizona has spent upwards of $1.9 million in legal fees defending its law (not to mention an estimated $141 million lost in cancelled conferences). The ACLU also filed suit against Utah's immigration law (HB 497) this month--a law which in addition to Arizona-style provisions, allows for state-based guest worker programs. In fact, 14 hours after Utah's law went into effect last week, a U.S. District Court judge granted a temporary restraining order, blocking implementation of the law.

    Clearly, states attempting to take immigration law into their own hands will continue to face costly uphill battles. The question is not whether but when voters will notice that their leaders are putting politics before the state's best economic interest.
  7. Jack 's Avatar
    Lee Baca: Let us deport the bad guys
    Critics are wrong: The Secure Communities program works.,0,7647155.story


    Comprehensive immigration reform is dead -- and the left is to blame
    By Michael Lind

    In the U.S., America's neoliberal globalist establishment has completely failed in its effort to persuade America's populist, nationalist citizenry that preventing illegal immigration is racist and retrograde in the age of global markets. According to a September 2010 Quinnipiac poll, "stricter enforcement of laws against illegal immigration" beat "integrating illegal immigrants into American society" by 68-24, with 9 percent answering "don't know."

    Most Democratic voters are closer to the Republicans in their attitudes toward illegal immigration than to their own party's leaders and activists. A recent Pew Research Center poll about attitudes toward Arizona's draconian anti-illegal immigrant law

    showed that 65 percent of Democrats support requiring people to produce documents proving their citizenship; 55 percent of Democrats would allow those who refuse to be detained; and 50 percent of Democrats would permit questioning based only on police suspicion. 45 percent of Democrats favored the Arizona law, while 46 percent opposed it. According to Pew, the more Democratic voters learn about the Arizona law, the more they approve of it.

    The public opinion polls make it clear that there is no significant public support for what appears to be the consensus position of the American left -- yes to amnesty, no to enforcement.

    Any attempt to identify, apprehend or punish foreign nationals or American employers who violate immigration laws is immediately denounced as a racist atrocity by the American left. Progressive opposition to the illiberal Arizona law that permitted police officers to question individuals who might be illegal immigrants was justifiable. That provision of the law (not necessarily others) was an incitement to racial profiling. But many progressives also denounce sensible and necessary laws enabling the police to check the immigration status of people who have already been arrested; the use of E-Verify to make sure that the Social Security documents of workers have not been forged; and workplace raids by ICE on employers suspected of hiring illegal immigrants.

    In addition to denouncing efforts by the government to catch foreign nationals and U.S. employers who break the law, the left opposes any penalties for those who are caught. The deportation of illegal immigrants is denounced as an atrocity that tears apart families and communities. In some cases, hardship might justify prosecutorial discretion. But to listen to the loudest voices on the left, you would think that any foreign national who manages to elude the Border Patrol or overstay a visa for a couple of weeks becomes "rooted" in the American community overnight and immune forever to arrest and deportation.

    None other than Chris Matthews, as partisan a Democrat as there is, suggested last December that the present-day Democratic Party does not really want immigration laws to be enforced at all:

    "The Democrats on the other hand have been pretty much weak in stating exactly how they're going to stop illegal immigration, I don't hear them giving me a clarity as to how they are going to prevent the continued flow of illegal people coming into the country, I don't even think they want to stop it, that's my belief so far, they like it."

    Democrats have also damaged the cause of comprehensive immigration reform by crowing about how they will benefit politically. For more than a decade, Democratic strategists have prophesied that increased Latino immigration, legal and illegal, will create a permanent Democratic majority. Do these Democratic strategists think that their Republican counterparts are not paying attention to boasts that naturalization of illegal immigrants would instantly add 12 million Democrats to the U.S. electorate?
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