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By: Paul Atkinson on 04/09/2012
The Department of Homeland Security says it did not mislead state and local law enforcement officials in allowing a system into jails that helps identify illegal immigrants with criminal records. A member of Congress had asked for a review of the ‘Secure Communities’ program after concerns that people with no criminal records were deported. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Paul Atkinson explains.
Two reports from the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security examined whether immigration officials mislead the public, states, and local law enforcement agencies about the scope of it’s ‘secure communities’ program. Working with local jails, the system identifies illegal immigrants with criminal records.
Some have complained that immigrants with minor offenses have been deported under ‘Secure Communities.’ One of the DHS reports says immigration officials did not clearly state the intent of Secure Communities with stakeholders, but absolved the agency of misleading anyone.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the California congresswoman who requested the reports, says they failed to address whether ‘Secure Communities’ ensnare victims with no criminal history or if it leads to racial profiling.
The reports show the system is used in fourth-fifrths of U.S. jails, with plans to expand Secure Communities to all jurisdictions by the end of next year.
Read the reports below:
Click on the link in Rep. Lofgren's name to see her response.