Jenny Yang & Matthew Soerens :: What is the Secure Communities program?

  • Secure Communities is the government’s way of prioritizing the deportation of undocumented criminals and people arrested for criminal activity by running an arrested person’s fingerprints against a federal immigration database. Local law enforcement officials are then given the authority to enforce immigration laws, even though immigration is generally a federal issue. “That creates a huge burden for a law enforcement community,” says Jenny Yang, Author and Director of Advocacy and Policy for World Relief’s Refugee and Immigration Program.

    The other problem is that while in theory Secure Communities is aimed at dangerous criminals and offenders, it most often affects petty criminals and traffic violators. “Nobody actually has a problem deporting someone who is a murderer or a rapist. The problem is, most of the people that they’re catching here are on minor traffic violations,” according to Matthew Soerens, Author and World Relief Immigration and Refugee Expert.

    From The Justice Conference 2012.

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