A week before leaving office, Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. announced Tuesday that Colorado would participate in a federal background check program devised to catch illegal immigrants who have committed crimes.

County Manager Barbara M. Donnellan wrote a memo to the county board which said, “ICE stated clearly — and with finality — that local activated communities do not have the option of withholding information from the program, although communities can opt not to learn the results of immigration queries.”

By 2013, according to an Obama administration plan, everyone in the United States who is arrested and fingerprinted will undergo an immigration check.

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.

Records show that about 47,000 people have been removed or deported from the U.S. after the Homeland Security Department sifted through 3 million sets of fingerprints taken from bookings at local jails

La Opinión, the largest Spanish-language daily paper in the US, joins the chorus of those calling on Congress to pass the DREAM Act, as the Obama Administration affirms its commitment to the bill. Pro-immigrant groups continue to criticize Congress for passing another border bill instead of a real solution, and documents show that 47,000 people have been deported under the Secure Communities program in its 20 months of existence.

The Spanish-language press reports that undocumented Harvard student Eric Balderas will not be deported, and that the federal government plans to challenge Arizona law SB 1070. Meanwhile, local enforcement program Secure Communities continues to expand.