ICE says Secure Communities opt-out is possible


On Aug. 10, national civil rights groups released documents on the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Communities program.

These groups' findings--based on information gleaned from materials obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request--included the startling statistic that the vast majority (79 percent) of people detained due to S-Comm are non-criminals, up for lower level offenses, such as traffic offenses or petty juvenile mischief. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has since responded to claims made at that press conference, saying, among other things, that local jurisdictions can, in fact, opt out of the program--though the process sounds somewhat convoluted.

“Widespread confusion persists about how jurisdictions can choose not to participate in [Secure Communities] due to concern about how the program will impact community policing initiatives and public safety," ICE's statement notes.

"As part of the Secure Communities activation process, ICE conducts outreach to local jurisdictions, including providing information about the biometric information sharing capability, explaining the benefits of this capability, when they are scheduled for activation, and addressing any concerns they may have," ICE continued.

"If a jurisdiction does not wish to activate on its scheduled date in the Secure Communities deployment plan, it must formally notify its state identification bureau and ICE in writing (email, letter or facsimile)," ICE concluded. "Upon receipt of that information, ICE will request a meeting with federal partners, the jurisdiction, and the state to discuss any issues and come to a resolution, which may include adjusting the jurisdiction’s activation date in or removing the jurisdiction from the deployment plan.”

Local immigrant rights groups are taking ICE's statement as a hopeful sign that San Francisco could yet opt out of the program, even though attempts to do so earlier this year--initiated at the request of San Francisco Sheriff Mike Hennessey--fell apart at the state level. But maybe the winds have changed. Stay tuned...


I, for one, don't want SF to opt out. I would bet that if you put it to the voters, they would agree.

It is the "progressive" left that enables and ignores crimes by illegal aliens. Their victims are the ones who pay the price for your "sensitivity".

Posted by guest on Aug. 30, 2010 @ 8:51 am

I would hope that San Francisco would opt out as soon as possible. The crimes of the employers who hire undocumented migrants are ignored. The migrant workers would not come here if they were not certain of a job by an employer. Maybe I missed it but I haven't seen ICE rounding up employers or finger printing employers who hire undocumented workers and this is ignored by the paranoid racists who are racists against brown-skinned people. This is about racism. With a gun to their bosom, the paranoid racists lie in bed all night frightened of the brown-skinned "boogeyman." It's important that the paranoids be very afraid. As with Prop H8, one of the purposes of the U.S. Constitution is to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. This is ignored by the paranoid racists, so it's immaterial what the majority of voters might do. But to some people, if the majority of voters voted for banning the right of women to vote, or voted for public stonings, or voted for beheadings or voted for slavery or voted for concentration camps these things would be acceptable because the majority voted for them. But that's not the way the U.S. Constitution works fortunately.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Aug. 30, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

What rights do illegal aliens have? I know a thing or two about strained conflations but this one is odd. Are you saying that illegal aliens have a right to be in the USA?

The people making illegal immigration about race; about 10% of the people for obeying immigration law and the constitution side, about 90% of the people who want open borders side.

Granted the left and right pick and choose their way through the constitution.

Posted by matlock on Aug. 30, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

There's a big difference between being charged with a crime and being found guilty of one, in this country. Unless, it seems, you are here without papers. At which case, to hell with due process, and let's just scream "illegals" at the top of our lungs, right? And that is what the right has been doing on immigration.

But the truth, as San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon clarified in his first interview with the Guardian, is that being in this country without paperwork is an administrative violation, not a major crime.



Posted by sarah on Aug. 30, 2010 @ 2:50 pm

I wish it were true that it's mainly the right-wing racist paranoids who are screaming "illegals" and "illegal aliens" from the top of their lungs. But I see it coming from the "left" also. I visit "left" websites every day and I see the word "illegals" in post after post there too and then the same "left" posters will slam the "right" for something. It's rather rare to see the word "undocumented." I get the impression that one person uses "illegals" and then others see it and use it.

We are supposed to have a system of "innocent until proven guilty" here, but in recent years I think the general thinking is now "you're guilty until proven innocent," and if you are a brown-skinned person you are guilty of something automatically. Yes, the brown-skinned person is guilty of picking your fruits and vegetables, cleaning your toilet, cleaning your hotel room, repairing your streets and building your shelters and are paid a very low wage to do this. Then you don't have to pay a big price at the store for your fruits and vegetables.

Posted by Guest Bárbara Chelsai on Aug. 30, 2010 @ 3:41 pm