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NYT: As it Stands, “Secure Communities Won’t Make The Country More Secure”

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 08/18/2010 at 11:39am

For all the talk that the Obama Administration is changing immigration enforcement priorities to focus on the “worst of the worst,” a new report editorialized in the New York Times today shows that for one flagship program called “Secure Communities,” there’s a very long road ahead:

Secure Communities won’t make the country more secure, not the way it is working. Police departments that don’t want to participate should be able to opt out. The Obama administration needs to fix it or jettison it.

The Times paints a pretty damning picture of how the program’s been run:

Secure Communities, an immigration enforcement program created under President George W. Bush and now being greatly expanded by President Obama, is billed as an effort to catch and deport “the worst of the worst,” the violent criminals, drug and gun smugglers, gang members and other dangerous aliens. That would be excellent, if true. It doesn’t seem to be.

According to the data, the Secure Communities program has been in the business of rounding up a majority of non-criminal immigrants; a whopping 79 percent of those deported under Secure Communities have no criminal records “or had been picked up for low-level offenses, like traffic violations and juvenile mischief.”

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