Saturday, April 19, 2014
Julia Preston of the New York Times reported on the latest in a growing resistance of local police to complying with detaining immigrants under the Obama administration's Secure Communities program.: "Sheriffs in nine Oregon counties announced this week that they would no longer hold people in jail based on requests from federal immigration authorities after a United States magistrate judge in Portland ruled that an immigrant’s rights had been violated when she was held in a county jail on such a request."
The state/local/federal tensions began at the outset of the Secure Communities program, which was originally marketed as a voluntary program but which the Obama administration later emphasized was mandatory, with state and local cooperation in federal removal efforts required. Pushback from state and local governments has grown over time, especioally as it increasingly became known that Secure Comnmunities has resulted in the removal of many non-violent minor criminal offenders, not the "gang bangers" that the President stated was the administration's removal priority. The California TRUST Act, signed into law in 2013, limits local police detainers of minor criminal offenders and represents a major state legislative effort to limit the overbroad scope of Secxure Communities.