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ICE Director John Morton has repeatedly said that he believes federal immigration enforcement should focus on the ‘worst of the worst,’ yet the policies and practices of his agency have repeatedly failed to meet that standard. The program known as Secure Communities, which involves state and local police in identifying immigrants for deportation, provides one of the starkest examples. Secure Communities was supposed to focus on dangerous convicted criminals, but has actually swept up thousands of non-criminal immigrants and hurt the relationship between local police and the immigrant community.
Today’s announcement shows that concerns about the program’s failures have finally penetrated the DHS bureaucracy in Washington. When law enforcement leaders and advocates for crime victims are speaking out against a ‘law enforcement’ proposal, something is wrong.