District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has signed an executive order prohibiting police officers and all city agencies from questioning people about their immigration status and limiting the District’s cooperation with federal officials when it comes to deportation proceedings.
The order signed Wednesday was cheered by advocates for immigrants, but it does not mean illegal immigrants arrested in the District can not be deported.
Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander said the District is not opting out of a mandatory federal program called Secure Communities <http://www.ice.gov/secure_communities> , which directs local agencies to share fingerprints collected from people in local jails with the Department of Homeland Security. The program is expected to be in place nationwide by 2013.
D.C. police currently send all fingerprints of anyone arrested for a serious crime to the FBI. That data is shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and can still lead to deportation.