Photo: San Francisco Archbishop Says Secure Communities is Not the Answer
According to Catholic Culture Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco recently told a group of hundreds of immigrants and their supporters who met at St. Mary’s Cathedral on January 28, “We cannot allow the pain of family separation and the fear amongst our communities to continue.”
Archbishop Niederauer was speaking at a meeting held to discuss opposition to Secure Communities. The archbishop said the program fails to provide real security, as it does not target those who commit serious crimes, and actually results in fewer crimes being reported because immigrants are afraid to go to the authorities.
Since the implementation of Secure Communities under the 2nd Bush administration in 2008, roughly 110,000 convicted criminals have been deported.
A study of the program by the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley School of Law found that Latinos make up 93 percent of those arrested through Secure Communities, but only 77 percent of the undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S.
The report also found that only 52 percent of those arrested under the program had or will have a hearing before an immigration judge.
Additional findings revealed:
-More than one-third (39%) of individuals arrested through Secure communities report that they have a U.S. citizen spouse or child, meaning that approximately 88,000 families with U.S. citizen members have been impacted by Secure communities;
-Approximately 3,600 united States citizens have been arrested by ice through the Secure communities program.
Secure Communities is a nationwide program, but California has the highest number of deportations.
The National Catholic Reporter reported the archbishop told the group, “It is important that we keep working together to end S-Comm” and to ensure a “humane immigration system.”