Photo: Controversy with Secure Communities Program
Today, immigration advocates released emails from the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) that show that ICE’s Secure Communities deportation program is sweeping in individuals who have never been criminally arrested.
The emails—which were obtained as a result of Freedom of Information Act and litigation brought by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic—show that people who are unable to satisfactorily identify themselves at drivers’ license checkpoints, but are not suspected of any criminal conduct, are nonetheless processed for deportation through Secure Communities.
According to the emails, in May 2011, the state of California attempted to obtain assurance from ICE and the FBI that “the [Secure Communities] Program will only affect persons who are arrested for a crime, and not those who may simply be stopped at a drivers’ license checkpoint.” Instead of providing the requested assurance, the FBI apparently informed California that even prints for individuals who had been arrested for identification purposes only would have their immigration status checked through Secure Communities.
The emails were originally disclosed in heavily redacted form in August 2011. Less redacted versions were disclosed in June 2012. This is the first time they have been publicly released.
Click here to see the emails in their original form.