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NILC Calls on DHS to End “Secure Communities” Now



August 15, 2011


Monica Garcia, 213-400-7822,

LOS ANGELES, Calif.   Today the National Immigration Law Center denounces the “Secure Communities” program alongside Los Angelenos and immigrants’ rights organizations.

The Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council’s ad hoc Task Force on Secure Communities plans a meeting for this evening at St. Anne’s Residential Facility. Community members, including victims of crime and NILC’s executive director, Marielena Hincapié, will be speaking before the task force this evening.

More than 121,000 immigrants have been deported since the inception of the Secure Communities program in 2008. “The existing task force mirrors the lack of transparency and community input that characterizes the Secure Communities program itself. The Department of Homeland Security has failed to explain the limited scope and influence of the task force,” Hincapié said.

“Secure Communities is ineffective, and the taskforce has no real authority to fix or change the program. Secure Communities undoubtedly adds to the broken immigration system of the U.S. Selling food on the street without a permit, facing a minor traffic infraction, or reporting domestic violence are all activities that may drive an immigrant into the Secure Communities dragnet. It is insulting for the Department of Homeland Security, through its taskforce, to feign interest in community concerns while pushing full force for expansion of this disastrous program,” said Melissa Keaney, a NILC attorney.

Founded in 1979, NILC envisions a society in which all people—regardless of race, gender, income level, or immigration status—have the opportunity to live freely, work safely, and thrive in society. The organization’s advocates and attorneys use a variety of tools, including policy analysis, litigation, education and advocacy, to achieve this vision.