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ICE ACCESS Programs
Falling under the umbrella term of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ACCESS), a suite of federal programs entwines local and state agencies with federal immigration enforcement. There are several ICE ACCESS programs but the three of most concern are:
- 287(g) deputizes local law-enforcement officials to act as immigration agents
- Criminal Alien Program (CAP) automatically checks fingerprints against a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) database of everyone booked into federal, state and local prisons
- Secure Communities allows ICE to identify, process, and remove immigrants incarcerated in federal, state, and local jails
The merger of local authorities, whose primary role is to address crime, with federal immigration authorities furthers the perception that undocumented immigration is a crime, when in reality it is a civil offense. Moreover, while ICE claims these programs are to help it identify and remove violent criminals, studies show that the majority of people deported had no or minor infractions, and rather were targeted because of their ethnicity. (See report from National Immigration Law Center (PDF, 7 pages) Racial profiling and abuse by local authorities within these programs go unchecked.