Friday, November 2, 2012

Berkeley Rejects S-Comm

Judith Scherr writes for the Oakland Tribune:

BERKELEY -- The city's police will no longer hand prisoners over to federal immigration authorities under an action approved Tuesday night.

The City Council voted unanimously not to respond to Immigration and Customs Enforcement requests to take charge of Berkeley prisoners suspected of violating federal immigration law.

"To our knowledge, this is the strongest language (opposing the policy) in the country," said George Lippman, chairman of the city's Peace and Justice Commission.

In adopting the new policy, the council turned down a proposal by Police Chief Michael Meehan that would have raised the bar for turning suspects over to ICE. Meehan wanted police to limit compliance with ICE requests to cases where the jailed suspect -- either an adult or a minor -- was accused of a serious felony and also had been convicted of a serious crime in the past.

The ICE program rejected by the council, known as Secure Communities, identifies immigrants in U.S. jails who can be deported under immigration law. The program depends on information shared among local and federal law enforcement agencies. Read more...

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