S-Comm Should Be Shelved, Not Tweaked

September 16, 2011

Adela de la Torre, NILC, (213) 674-2832; [email protected]

S-Comm Should Be Shelved, Not Tweaked

WASHINGTON, DC — Amid a flurry of resignations, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Advisory Council Task Force today released its report and recommendations on Secure Communities, a fingerprint sharing immigration enforcement program that has eroded public trust in law enforcement. The recommendations were not signed by several of the task force’s 20 members, some of whom called for the suspension of the program in order to correct fundamental flaws. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Today’s report unsurprisingly outlines several major and systemic flaws with Secure Communities. Although the task force members rightly identified many of this program’s detractions, which sever crucial ties between communities of color and law enforcement and decimate public trust between immigrant communities and the Obama administration, they failed to make the crucial call to terminate this harmful program. We commend those task force members who chose to resign rather than add their names to this incomplete report and endorse DHS’s repeated attempts to tinker with a program that is beyond repair. Unless Secure Communities is halted, it will continue to wreak havoc on the communities many of the members of the task force care about.

“The task force identified a few substantive recommendations that would reduce the number of people caught in Secure Communities’ dragnet. Unfortunately, past experience shows that when it comes to this pernicious immigration enforcement program, such recommendations go under advisement, and are never actually implemented.

“Ultimately, even major changes to Secure Communities will not restore public trust in law enforcement. The Obama administration must abandon this fundamentally flawed program. Enforcement-only immigration policies may score political points among a few voters, but it is already leading to anger and apathy among many voters who recognize these policies come at the price of community engagement and public safety. We urge DHS and its task force members to instead expend their time, intellect, and efforts on ending our country’s mass immigration enforcement-only strategies and work to increase prosperity and true safety in our communities.”

View the task force’s report.

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