ACLU Press Release: DHS Ends Three-Year Charade on S-Comm

Three years after Department of Homeland Security first rolled out the “Secure Communities Program” which sent fingerprints of those accused of a crime at the moment of arrest from the jails to ICE, DHS reveals they never needed state consent to participate in the program anyway.  Immigrant rights organizations are angry, yet are not surprised by DHS’s latest move which many feel is just part of their business-as-usual tactic to skirt transparency and ultimately deport undocumented immigrants at all costs.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2011
CONTACT: Cynthia Bell, (202) 675-2312; media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been able to cite only one statutory provision to support its position: 8 U.S.C. § 1722, part of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act (EBSA).  But EBSA does not authorize the federal government to commandeer states’ resources to screen individuals in state and local custody.

“Three years after introducing Secure Communities, DHS changed the rules of the game by setting aside all the agreements that states negotiated in good faith. Today’s announcement is the latest in a long line of deceptive DHS theatrics and is an insult to governors and state leaders who signed these agreements, which now amount to nothing more than the paper they’re printed on. DHS has recklessly inflicted S-Comm on states and localities across the country without any legal justification for the program,” said Laura W. Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.

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