Secure Communities – Opposition

There had been an outcry against the growing Secure Communities program. A San Francisco Weekly blog reports that the Washington state police department opted out of the program. Local departments could still participate, but the State department did not want to take up immigration duties. The blog states that San Francisco desperately wanted to drop out of the program, but has been unable to do so. The blog article then cites San Francisco police chief and sheriff Hennessey as both being opposed to the program. They felt that the program discouraged interaction between immigrants and the police.

Feet in 2 Worlds, a site for immigrant news, produced an article about the Secure Communities program in New York. The article quoted the information director for the NY Division of Criminal Justice Services, John Caher. Caher make it clear that New York was especially interested in deterring national security threats, and supported the Secure Communities program to achieve that goal. Despite state support, various minority advocacy groups stated their concerns over the problem. Their concerns included the facts that the majority of deportations that result from the program are for minor crimes and that the program would damage relations between immigrants and the authorities.

Deportation Nation, a site that investigates immigrant discrimination, focuses heavily on the secure communities program. In a September article, the site focused on Napolitano’s off hand claim that departments could opt out of the program. Advocates were unimpressed with the government’s vague information regarding opting out of the program. The failed attempt to opt out by San Francisco was brought up and blame was attributed to ICE, who has failed to respond to petitions to opt out by sheriff Henessy.

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