S-COMM Should Be Suspended Immediately

June 17, 2011

Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832

Proposed Changes to Secure Communities: Too Little, Too Late

LOS ANGELES — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement today announced several changes to its much-criticized Secure Communities (S-COMM) program. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“S-COMM has resulted in untold numbers of fundamental rights violations, and the proposed changes announced today don’t change the program’s underlying deficiencies.

“Furthermore, the announcement proves that the conclusion reached by Gov. Cuomo of New York, Gov. Patrick of Massachusetts, and Gov. Quinn of Illinois is correct:  S-COMM is simply too broken to be allowed to continue operating. Far too many members of our communities, many of whom came to the police as victims of crime, have been ensnared by this program and deported already.

“Since S-COMM’s inception, we’ve raised serious concerns about the inevitable rights violations that would occur because of this program. We were right: immigrant communities now know that a simple traffic violation or no criminal conviction at all can lead to a deportation order. As a result, immigrants are afraid to come into contact with local law enforcement officers, even as victims of, or witnesses to crime. This has threatened the safety of all of our communities.

“At this time, the only appropriate measure would be to heed the requests of Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts by suspending this program at a national level. Only then can we work towards creating secure communities for all.”

See the ICE announcement. (PDF)

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