FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2012
The “Secure Communities” Emperor Has No Clothes
Announced changes to flawed deportation program insufficient and deceptive
Los Angeles - The same week as the nation’s highest court hears oral arguments on the legality of SB1070, and three weeks after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a timid review of the program, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced minor modifications to the deeply flawed “Secure Communities” program (S-Comm). A DHS-sponsored Taskforce on Secure Communities released a stinging report of the program in November 2011. The modifications, which come after two years of mounting opposition to S-Comm from state and local officials, congressional representatives, advocates, and faith groups, were quickly denounced by advocates as inadequate to address the program’s failings. The following is a statement of Angelica Salas, executive director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.
“ICE’s response to the strong and mounting criticism of its star deportation program, S-Comm, offers more of the same rhetoric that only ICE can accept as truth. On the ground, S-Comm has proven to be a seriously flawed dragnet that promotes racial profiling in line with the “attrition through enforcement” philosophy of the masterminds behind Arizona’s SB1070 and its copycat bills.
Far from targeting the “worst of the worst”, S-Comm catches anyone who happens to fit into ICE’s amorphously defined ‘priorities’. Deplorably, it is local and state police departments that have been relegated to the unenviable role of faux immigrant wardens undermining the trust of the community, a key element to fight crime, protect victims and witnesses, and protect the community’s overall safety.