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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

LOFGREN CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION OF DHS REPRESENTATIONS ON SECURED COMMUNITIES

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DHS' misrepresentations to communities regarding their ability to opt out of the controversial Secure Communities program has drawn the attention of Zoe Lofgren, the ranking Democrat onthe House Immigration Subcommittee. From the LA Times:



A California congresswoman Friday called for an investigation into the actions of federal immigration officials, saying they lied about whether counties and states had the right to opt out of a controversial nationwide enforcement program that screens for illegal immigrants in local jails.


"It is inescapable that the [Department of Homeland Security] was not honest with the local governments or with me" about whether local jurisdictions must participate, said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose). "You can't have a government department essentially lying to local government and to members of Congress. This is not OK."



Several cities and counties were told initially by DHS that they could opt out of Secure Communities. That includes Santa Clara County which Representative Lofgren represents. Then ICE came out and said that the program was not, in fact, voluntary. A Freedom of Information Act request recently revealed that DHS knew it was misleading municipalities when it said the program was voluntary and that's now the subject of the congressional investigation:



But internal correspondence recently released to immigrant and civil rights groups in response to Freedom of Information Act litigation reveals that ICE officials had long known that the program was not voluntary.


A month after Lofgren received the letters, Napolitano held a news conference to clarify that local officials had no say in the program.


Lofgren, whose legal staff spent a week reviewing the internal documents, said she will seek a probe of whether Napolitano or ICE Director John Morton were aware of the strategy.


"It's unacceptable and if she knew about it, something has to be done about her, and, if she didn't, she has to do something about those who did," Lofgren said. "Clearly the people in the department were dissembling and deceiving."


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Comments

  1. Another Voice's Avatar
    Someone at DHS found that this is the best way to keep your funding considering the budget cuts...and future outlook on government spending. Somehow I think Republicans won't object to this spending...
  2. Another Voice's Avatar
    They should also conduct investigations into how local authorities abuse the Immigration authority granted under these programs and continually misuse it to deport and racially profile any immigrant not just criminal aliens.
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