U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) anounced that the option to exit the controversial Secure Communities program will be “eliminated” and the program will become mandatory for 2013. Under the program, local police are required to share the fingerprints of all arrestees with federal immigration authorities.
Since it went into effect in 2008, the program has been criticized for leading to the deportation of many undocumented immigrants with no criminal record—despite the program’s claims to focus on violent criminals. ICE has also been criticized for giving conflicting information about whether communities could opt out of the program. Editors of La Opinión write that the American teen who was mistakenly deported to Colombia is the latest example of the program’s incompetence.