Should Local Law Enforcement Work with Immigration Authorities?

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The Obama Administration says the program Secure Communities is "crucial" to finding criminal immigrants and deporting them. The fingerprints of every person booked by local police are checked by Immigration and Customs Enforcement with the stated goal of exporting illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes. But the reality is different. ICE's own files reveal that in Illinois nearly one-third of those deported had no criminal convictions at all. Democratic Governor Pat Quinn says he's pulling out of the program. The Sheriff of San Francisco, with 30 years on the job, says he's pulling out, too. In Los Angeles, the ICE website shows that 12,741 immigrants have been deported because of the program since August, 2009, but one-fourth, or 2,961, had no criminal convictions at all. We hear from both sheriffs, and from an organization that gathered much of the data on Secure Communities from ICE files under the Freedom of Information Act.




Warren Olney