Janet Napolitano's "Secure Communities" Program Secure in Arizona, Elsewhere Not So Much

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Three states have opted out of a federal immigration program that helps identify and deport illegal immigrants.

​Massachusetts is now the third state to opt out of a federal immigration program that helps identify illegal immigrants and turn them over to federal officials.

Governor Deval Patrick called it quits on the program, referred to as Secure Communities, about a week after New York did so. Illinois was the first to cut the program from its state in May, even though the federal government claims the program is mandatory once it starts.

Now that three are off the list, there are 39 states remaining in the program.

In an e-mail statement sent to New Times, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Vincent Picard, stated that "because Secure Communities is fundamentally an information-sharing partnership between federal agencies, state and local jurisdictions cannot opt out from the program."

Recently, the Los Angeles Times reported that California Representative Zoe Lofgren called for an investigation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for not being completely honest about local jurisdictions having to participate in the immigration program.

"You can't have a government department essentially lying to local government and to members of Congress. This is not OK," Lofgren said in April.

The program started in 2008 under the Bush Administration. It was that same year, when Janet Napolitano, now U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, was still Arizona's governor, that Pinal County joined Secure Communities, partnering with ICE to help identify illegal immigrants through fingerprint records.

It works like this: Local authorities fingerprint those in custody and match those records with those on file with DHS. If the person is undocumented, immigration officials take them under their jurisdiction and decide whether to deport them or not. 

As of now participating law enforcement agencies in Arizona have identified and deported 15,606 illegal immigrants through this program, according to ICE's stats.

Maricopa County, so far, has arrested and removed more illegal immigrants compared with the other counties in the state, totaling 13,823. Nationwide, though, 108,994 illegal immigrants have been deported through the program.

Those turned over to ICE are categorized by levels one through three depending on the severity of the crime committed. 

Those categorized level one are more likely to get deported, but as the number goes up they have more time to set up a legal-defense team. At any moment ICE can lower their level to prioritize their case, but it all depends on the seriousness of the crime.

Chris Newman, a lawyer from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, stated that programs such as Secure Communities need to be "scrapped completely."

Newman says that anti-immigrant hawks such as Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio are examples of local authorities abusing federal immigration programs. Which is why he believes Secure Communities "has been a disaster."

A major concern for Newman is the separation of family members that occurs when low-level offenders are deported. Such "offenders" can include people stopped for a simple traffic misdemeanor. They might not even been charged with a crime, but just simply turned over to ICE.

He points out that this program let Arizona politicians believe that they could create their own immigration laws, the most infamous being Senate Bill 1070.

"Secure Communities created the political climate that led to SB 1070 in the first place," Newman says.

Perhaps, but knowing right-wing, immigrant-bashing Governor Jan Brewer and the popularity of SB 1070 in this state, Secure Communities should be secure in Arizona for some time to come.

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22 comments
Kitsugab
Kitsugab

This to inform you of a person living and working in the United States illegally. The names that this person assumes are as follows: Gabriela Sanchez (her niece), Karla P. Durazo (her aunt), Patty Durazo (her sister),Julieta Sanchez (her aunt), Patty Sanchez (her sister/her niece) Rocio Sanchez (her sister), Mayra Viramontes (her cousin), Karen Durazo (her cousin),Kenya Durazo (hercousin), Karina Sanchez (her cousin).All of the names assumed by her can be substantiated through her facebook account which is under the name Gabby Sanchez.Her Employer is: Dr. Larry Stark   3201 W. Peoria Ave # A-100   Phoenix, AZ 85029Her assumed Social Security # is her Aunt's Soc. Sec. # 611-32-7757 (Karla P. Durazo) who actually lives in California.She drives a pathfinder with AZ lic. # AHT4587 Her address is: 2220 W. Mission Ln. #1095 (which is in Larry Starks name /  Phoenix, AZ 85017    co-signed for)  SRP Acct # 919-863-000    (which is in Larry Starks name)Her Phone # 602-628-3116   (which is in Larry Starks name)Family Assistance Administration Case # 00564738 (Gabriela Sanchez)Dental work provided under the name Patty Sanchez. And full medical (BCBS)is paid for by Larry StarkHer sons name is Carlos Flores-Sanchez and he graduated from Cortez High SchoolThis young woman makes it easier for other illegals to obtain medications includingnarcotics and evade citizenship tests through the Doctors office that she works in.Also supplying them with false identification and documentation. I am very concerned about the illegal activities (Document Fraud, Identity Theft, Conducting crimes in America) that she is involved in. Please address the above issues as soon as possible.

Concerned Citizen 

Bobby
Bobby

"Massachusettes is now the third state to opt out of a federal immigration program that helps identify illegal immigrants and turn them over to Federal officials."

So begins the above article. Radical leftists, and democrats, and many people on this forum agree with this decision. Isn't it interesting? These are the same people that forever argue that the Federal governments decisions trump those of the states. Yet, here they are, arguing for states rights, now that it suits them. You damned confederates, you rebels.

Native Guns
Native Guns

I don't think the program "Secure Communities" paves the way for legislatures to create their own laws. The Repugs are saying that their basis for creating such egregious laws is due in part on the Fed's inaction on securing the border. This program is simply an intelligence sharing program between the local/state and the Federal authorities. If the program is still functional, (since they removed over 8 million illegal aliens in the past year), then there is nothing wrong with it. Why the 3 states chose to opt out of it, is disturbing. What's exact basis for them opting out of it, besides frustration? Are there flaws lurking in the program that is not specifically said herein?

What really troubles me about that in-closet Republican Manet Napolitano, is her choosing to back out of a critical need for research and continued analysis of Right-wing Domestic Terrorism:http://www.splcenter.org/blog/...

Dave Francis
Dave Francis

With the E-Verify law and SecureCommunities law recognized by the Supreme Court, as one journalist stated"The dam has been breached.' This removes the torment from State Capitols thatcan now go ahead, spreading the good news that the Liberals, cannot easilyrescind. States now have the right to activate their own mandated E-Verify, soall workers must pass through the verifying steel gauntlet for a job.Businesses have finally are going to be held liable through sweeping audits,that if they knowingly hire illegal alien workers, their goose is cooked? Nowthe penalty phase must be rigidly enforced, which should include not only acanceled business license for a week, but at least six months, but loss ofcompany assets, large fines and for incorrigible companies six months to fiveyears in jail. 

This would be a harsh example foranybody, willing to take the risk on hiring illegal labor. As ugly as it mightseem American citizens and legal residents, should carefully observe employed attheir workplace. Because of the rampant fraud in companies of every imaginablesituation, there has been an upsurge in Whistle Blowers. People should notbetray themselves in spiteful retaliation to get back at an unreasonablemanager or an owner, who refuses to raise their wages. This is for the sake ofplacing a jobless legal countryman, who has a family to support or a homebehind in several payments. Only to validate legal workers who are just beinghired, just doesn't cut it. Everybody on the payroll should be checked andthose with irregularities had better travel to the nearest Social Securityoffice. This will save any human services department being sued fordiscrimination by any legalized immigrant who thinks he has a right to work.There is a  blog at NumbersUSA  that deals with lies andfalsehoods from (NPR) National Public Radio recently promulgated againstE-Verify. Anybody who is interested in our internal enforcement shouldinvestigate how the Liberal press, twisting the truth to fit their pro-illegalalien agenda.

None of these deterrents would havebeen needed if every administration over the past thirty years, had accomplishedbuilding a real border fence, and defended the nation with the laws provided inthe 1986 Immigration Act. Liberals, Democrats, Republicans and other partyaffiliates, with the bleeding hearts of churches and a wide array ofspecial interests groups are to blame for this mess. By pulling the desperate,the indigent, the impoverished, the criminals, the economic foreigners here, weare now drowned in a federal and State wide financial reservoir of debt.America is a magnet for every poor nation’s people in the world. But by takingin these unfortunates, it just adds to the layers of our own underunprivileged, forcing them further into poverty?

 It’s inconceivable to thousands of pro-sovereignty organizations, why thelegislators never made it a felony to trespass in the United States, withoutproper documents? No other industrial country is lax in its laws as the US,otherwise police would have a right to question a person on their immigrationstatus; specially today with people coming across our Southern border, withintentions to harm us?

If Congress is under new federalmanagement in 2012, Tea Party representatives will never again let differentparty entities; drive America to the brink of insolvency. Try explaining it toyour children or grandchildren, that when they are taxpayers in future years,the IRS man is going to arrive demanding extra money from their wages to payfor the support of illegal people who came here from our uncompleted borderfence, or arrived here as a tourist and had no intentions of leaving?

Liberals for some obscure reason seethe TEA Party as a waning minority of old, white people. But if you wanderaround the huge crowds, you see a growing discontent from every race ofordinary people. The Tea Party does not discriminate against any person ofcolor as long as they came through legal immigration channels to join theAmerican people. It is important to understand that immigrants, who apply tocome here, should have the necessary skills to earn a living and already be securein a job from a reputable company. Rooted American workers should have firstpriority, when it comes to any kind of highly skilled occupations. America isin the doldrums economically through undeclared wars on two fronts, costing amillion a day. If you see American rebounding back from this nasty recession,look towards the new faces in Congress, as not yet corrupted by politicalambition, wealth and power. I don't see this in the Conservative moderatesknown as the Tea Party, whose ambitions will be held responsible by theAmerican--TEA PARTY--people? 

Bobby
Bobby

I've been trying to convey the same message to the ignorants on this forum about the Tea Party, but clueless is clueless.

spivey1
spivey1

ha ha ha hee hee hee the aclu gets no fee

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