Pressure on Cuomo to Opt Out of Secure Communities

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ever since Illinois Governor Pat Quinn terminated the agreement between his state and the federal Secure Communities program, pressure has been building for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to follow suit.

Secure Communities, run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), allows local police to share with federal authorities the digital fingerprints of anyone arrested in the state. The program—often called S-Comm—is designed to find and deport undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes like murder, kidnapping and threats to national security.

But as Gov. Quinn noted in his May 4th termination letter to Marc Rapp, Acting Assistant Director of Secure Communities:

“(T)he implementation of the Secure Communities program in Illinois is contrary to the stated purpose of the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement between the state and ICE)… By ICE’s own measure, less than 20 percent of those who have been deported from Illinois under the program have ever been convicted of a serious crime.”

Recently, U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) called for an investigation of ICE and S-Comm and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus urged President Obama to stop S-Comm, saying “fusion of police and immigration functions carries serious risks for public safety, civil rights and community-police relations.” In response, DHS acting Inspector General Charles K. Edwards wrote Rep. Lofgren saying the agency is planning a review of the program in 2012.


According to ICE, the program has been activated in 1,298 jurisdictions in the country (41 percent) and in 27 jurisdictions in New York State (44 percent). The agency plans is to have it fully implemented by 2013.

[+ Read the whole article at Feet in Two Worlds]

This story was produced by Feet in Two Worldsa project at Milano The New School's Center for New York City AffairsFi2W is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation.


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Comments [2]

Mike from Queens NY

If people picked up for even for minor crimes and are ILLEGAL, they should be DEPORTED IMMEDIATELY. ILLEGAL MEANS ILLEGAL. FINISH THE FENCE ON THE ENTIRE BORDER. If an American got into Mexico Illegally he or she would be Deported. Mexico has very tough Immigration laws.

Jun. 02 2011 05:22 AM
Solomon Kleinsmith from Omaha, NE

One... it's absurd that a government law enforcement agency wouldn't share that information in the first place and had to essentially be bribed into doing so...

and two... for any crimes that have been committed that are serious enough for someone to be fingerprinted, why not deport illegal immigrants when you've determined they are such? They're here illegally, broke another law, got caught and were found out.

I'm not for this right wing nonsense about rounding millions of people up, but when they're here and break the law, they've earned a ticket out.

May. 19 2011 06:02 PM

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