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Under "Secure Communities" (or S-Comm) everyone who is booked into a jail is automatically checked for their immigration status. The stated purpose of the program is to identify undocumented immigrants who are violent criminals so that they can be deported. However, from ICE's own numbers, more than half of those deported were picked up for minor infractions or were acquitted/had the charges dropped.
S-Comm does not accomplish its intent and instead makes communities less safe in that it makes the communities more distrustful of law enforcement. Despite its problems, DHS has said that the entire country will be enrolled in S-Comm by 2013. Several communities across the country are pushing back.
- May 4, 2010: Washington, DC rejects S-Comm
- May 20, 2010: San Francisco, CA requests to opt-out of S-Comm
- September 28, 2010: Santa Clara County, CA votes to opt-out of S-Comm
- September 28, 2010: Arlington Country, VA votes to opt-out of S-Comm
- October 1, 2010: An unnamed source within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says there is no opt-out for Secure Communities
- February 24, 2011: Providence, RI requests to opt-out of S-Comm
- May 4, 2011: IL Gov Pat Quinn terminates S-Comm agreement with DHS
- May 5, 2011: San Francisco County Sheriff announces that the county will no longer honor detainer requests for low-level offenders
- May 26, 2011: CA State Assembly passes the “TRUST Act,” which allows CA counties to opt out. (The bill still needs to pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown
- June 1, 2011: Gov Andew Cuomo pulls NY out of S-Comm
- June 3, 2011: Gov Deval Patrick decides MA will not participate in S-Comm
- August 5, 2011: DHS announces that it is rescinding all "Memorandums of Agreement" (MOAs) with state and local principalities, claiming that agreements are not necessary to implement S-Comm.
- September 7, 2011: Cook County, IL votes to deny IC detainer requests
- September 16, 2011: A DHS appointed task force issues a report with recommendations to "fix" the obvious flaws in S-comm. Unable to endorse the report, which they feel does not go far enough, five of the 19 members resign.
- October 18, 2011: Santa Clara County, CA votes to stop honoring ICE detainer requests for low-level offenders
- Unitarian Universalists Successfully Organize in MA to Oppose S-Comm
- Briefing Guide to “Secure Communities," from NDLON (PDF, 4 pages)
- Secure Communities: A Fact Sheet, by Immigration Policy Center
- Fact Sheet about ICE detainer requests
- NY Times Op-Ed about S-Comm: No Exit from a Bad Immigration Program
- Under 'Secure Communities' all fingerprints would go in database