In response to mounting criticism, the Obama Administration announced reforms to the ICE “Secure Communities” (S-Comm) jail deportation program last Friday. The S-Comm “reform” announcement acknowledges grave problems in S-Comm’s design and implementation, but it falls short of the moratorium on the program expected by law makers and immigrant rights advocates. See video below.
In recent weeks Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts have either pulled out or refused participation in the program while numerous cities across the country have sought a way out of the deportation dragnet that commandeers local law enforcement and entangles them in immigration laws. California is under increasing pressure to do so as well.
As a result, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Progressive Caucus have both called for a moratorium on the program pending an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General called for by Rep. Lofgren slated to begin next month.
Mario DelaRosa, of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) said: “We are outraged by the inadequacy of this response. Secure Communities not only takes the country in the wrong direction, it has gone off the rails. This announcement acknowledges problems exist, and basically sends a message that the administration does not care about our concerns. Anything less than a moratorium is unacceptable. We call on Clark and Washoe counties, as well as the Obama administration, to do as Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts have done and keep us safe from the poisonous results of this discredited program.”
Problems are evident in Nevada’s two largest counties. In Clark County, there is a 63.6% rate of non-criminal deportation and a 79% rate including Level 3 offenders (misdemeanors) since this program was implemented; in Washoe County the numbers indicate respective rates of 33.3% and 57.4% since implementation.
Some of our best and brightest students may be deported because these laws do not protect them adequately.
“Entangling local police in immigration issues imperils all of us whether it comes in the form of Arizona’s SB 1070 or “Secure Communities”. Both fragment and compound the injustices of our broken immigration laws. S-Comm criminalizes immigrants, endangers community safety, and threatens civil rights of communities of color. The administration needs to stop outsourcing immigration authority to local police, and it needs to stop it now”, said DelaRosa.
Justin is the publisher The Nevada View, which has earned the recognition in the Washington Post’s “Best State-Based Political Blogs,” as well as being awarded the “Most Valuable Blogger Award” by the local CBS affiliate in 2011. Follow him on Twitter @McAffee