Thursday, January 26, 2012

MISPLACED PRIORITIES: The Failure of Secure Communities in Los Angeles County

A report released today by the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the UC Irvine School of Law finds that, despite the Obama Administration's recent announcements that is prioritizing deportation of serious criminals, Secure Communities continues to ensare crime victims, traffic offenders, and others who have committed no criminal offense. Based on individual stories and an analysis of available data, the report concludes:

"ICE’s failure to adhere to its own stated priorities is a feature rather than a reparable flaw of the [Secure Communities] program. The program has been constructed and implemented on the assumption that if an individual has any contact with law enforcement—even if that contact stems from a traffic offense—that individual represents a threat to the community. ICE uses its stated criminal priorities as part of a rhetorical strategy to assuage the concerns of states and localities. In operation, however, ICE casts a wide net and offers little relief to worthy candidates for prosecutorial discretion; the vast majority of those deported through Secure Communities have merely had contact with local law enforcement and have not committed serious crimes."

For an op/ed by two law students who, along with Professor Sameer Ashar, authored the study, click here.


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