Controversial Immigration Program to Be Activated in NY Next Week, Sources Say

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fingerprints collected by the New York Police Department and submitted to the FBI will be shared with immigration officials once a controversial federal program opposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and other city officials is activated in the state next week, according to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement official.

Cuomo withdrew New York from the Secure Communities program last June, noting that it failed to meet its stated goal to “deport serious felons.”

But after some contradicting statements related to whether the program was mandatory, the Department of Homeland Security’s principal investigative arm, ICE, said last year states could not opt-out of the program and that it would be implemented nationwide by 2013, rendering the governor’s decision ineffective.

The program has already been activated in 50 percent of the state, including Nassau, Dutchess and Westchester counties.

On Tuesday, the rest of the state, including New York City, will become a part of the program.

 “Secure Communities has proven to be the single most valuable tool in allowing the agency to eliminate the ad hoc approach of the past and focus on criminal aliens and repeat immigration law violators,” an ICE spokesman said in a statement.

According to ICE, Secure Communities has helped ICE remove more than 135,000 convicted criminal aliens including more than 49,000 convicted of major violent offenses like murder, rape and the sexual abuse of children. 

Critics of the program argued that it ensnared victims of domestic violence, individuals with no criminal record and low-level offenders.

Immigration advocates, who applauded Cuomo’s decision last summer, expressed dissatisfaction with the decision made by ICE.

“We are very concerned about the Department of Homeland Security’s insistence on moving forward in light of the strong opposition against it,” said Jackie Esposito, director of Immigration Advocacy at the New York Immigration Coalition.

Esposito said the changes ICE made to the Secure Communities program, after it was criticized, were not substantial. According to its new policy, for example, the agency will take into its custody individuals arrested solely for minor traffic violations only if they are convicted.

Department of Homeland Security said last year that state and local jurisdictions could not terminate their participation in Secure Communities because it is essentially an information-sharing program between two federal agencies: the FBI and DHS.

That means the fingerprints local law enforcement agencies, such as the NYPD, submit to the FBI for routine criminal history checks will also be shared with DHS and checked against immigration databases. If ICE decides an arrested individual is of interest, the agency determines what enforcement action to take.

A spokesman for the Governor’s office said they were monitoring the developments around the program.


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Comments [3]

Allisio Rex from USA

This so-called "Secure Communities Program " it's not enough. We've been invaded by the third world.It's time and long overdue to totally stop illegal and legal non-White immigration. We owe nothing to nobody but to our own people only. Let other nations like India,Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, (all the Arab-Muslim Nations)all Africa and the Spanish/Portuguese speaking parts of the "Americas" open their borders to mass immigration within them. Why has to be that only White Nations have to accept the millions of invaders of the third world?
Aren't these above mentioned nations RACIST for not allowing mass immigrations from other nations? They are but they call us Racists. What a nerve!

May. 14 2012 10:42 PM
Delaware Bob from Delaware

This is a BIG start. As I undestand it, ALL commuintities will have the program next year. I hope this will be the start of rounding up the illegal aliens and getting them out of this country and back where they belong. E-Verify is the other BIG thing. Enough is enough with these illegal aliens and their anchor babies.

May. 13 2012 04:03 PM
Tremly from New Jersey

It is not racist, bigoted or xenophobic to demand that our countrys borders be secured . It is racist, bigoted and xenophobic by illegal aliens, their facilitators and advocates to demand that we allow them free reign with impunity in our country, simply because of who they are. Dont fall for their ploy, exhibit a staunch backbone and tell them we are the most diverse nation on the face of the earth we welcome more LEGAL immigrants that the rest of the entire world combined does every year

May. 12 2012 03:07 PM

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