S-Comm: Cosmetic Changes Proposed

April 27, 2012


ICE’s Proposed Changes to Secure Communities Can’t Fix a Broken Immigration System

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released its proposed changes to Secure Communities (S-Comm), the Obama administration’s signature detention and deportation system. DHS’s announcement comes in response torecommendations made in September 2011 by the remaining members of an appointed S-Comm task force composed of government officials, advocates, and immigration experts. The task force had recommended that DHS not pursue deportation of individuals who come to their attention as a result of a traffic infraction. DHS refused to take that position.

S-Comm, which requires state and local jails to run immigration background checks on any person booked into custody, regardless of the seriousness or ultimate disposition of their charges, has resulted in a marked increase in deportations of U.S. citizens’ parents, as well as deportations of many other immigrants who are longstanding members of their communities here in the U.S. The program also undermines community safety by deterring immigrants from reporting crimes.

Below is a statement from Don Lyster, director of the National Immigration Law Center’s Washington, DC, office:

“Cosmetic tweaks to S-Comm can’t mend a fundamentally flawed program. S-Comm exploits the worst of our broken immigration system by automating the destruction of families and placing people on an often irrevocable pathway out of the country they call home.

“The Obama administration often touts its deportation numbers. These numbers can’t begin to describe the destruction each deportation leaves in its wake. Families, communities, and local economies have been devastated, all to score cheap political points by looking ‘tough’ on immigration. It’s time to abandon automated programs such as S-Comm and restore some semblance of common sense and humanity to our immigration system. Only then will we live up to our most cherished American family values.”

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