The Secure Communities Program: Unanswered Questions and Continuing Concerns

The American Immigration Council’s Immigration Policy Center has updated its publication, The Secure Communities Program: Unanswered Questions and Continuing Concerns, which provides expert analysis of the Secure Communities program and makes recommendations for its improvement.

As we blogged about recently, North Carolina is one of only nine States that implements the Secure Communities program statewide. This program, administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in collaboration with NC state and local law enforcement agencies, is intended to target and deport convicted felons who are in the United States illegally. The Secure Communities program in North Carolina has met widespread criticism, including that it results in marginalization of Latino communities, increases the incidence of racial profiling and distrust of law enforcement, and that it violates basic civil rights and legal protections to which immigrants in North Carolina are entitled.

What began as a relatively small program in North Carolina and Texas has rapidly expanded. As of September 27, 2011, Secure Communities was available in 1,595 jurisdictions in 44 states and territories.  The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to implement Secure Communities in each of the 3,100 state and local jails across the country by 2013.

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