Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Feds delay review of Obama immigration program

Seventeen months have passed since the Department of Homeland Security announced it would create an internal civil rights review of the Obama administration's signature immigration enforcement program, but now department officials cannot say when, or if, they will complete it.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton announced in June 2011 that his agency would create a statistical monitoring tool to ensure that law enforcement agencies were not using the Secure Communities program to engage in racial profiling. The program screens all people booked into local jails for federal immigration violations. Despite calls from a Homeland Security task force and outside groups to complete the review, officials are not sure when that will be possible.

"Certain data collection factors have created challenges, delaying the completion of this model," Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler said. He said they are working "diligently" to find an effective way to monitor for civil rights abuses.

People booked into jails have their fingerprints sent to the FBI to check their criminal background. Under the Secure Communities program, those fingerprints are then sent to Homeland Security to check for immigration violations. People who are flagged are then examined by ICE and could be deported.

The program, created in 2008 under President George W. Bush and embraced by the Obama administration, has expanded rapidly. It is now active in 97% of local law enforcement agencies with the goal of 100% participation by 2013.

Several reports have found considerable flaws in the program.

An October 2011 study by researchers at the University of California-Berkeley that examined a random sampling of people arrested under Secure Communities found that about 3,600 U.S. citizens had been erroneously arrested by ICE. The report also concluded that Hispanics were disproportionally targeted through Secure Communities -- 93% of people arrested were Hispanics, even though they make up 77% of the illegal immigrant population.

Another review in September 2011 by a Homeland Security advisory council raised similar concerns. Half of the 14-member review panel said the program was so flawed it should be suspended until it could be fixed.

"Task Force members believe that it makes little sense to expand a program that many community leaders and elected officials consider deeply flawed, especially as to its impact on community policing and civil rights," the report found.

Since then, officials in various jurisdictions in the U.S. have pushed back against the program. The California Legislature passed the TRUST Act, which would have limited the state's cooperation with Secure Communities, but Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed it Sept. 30.

"Here we are a year and a half after this review was begun and I had expected to see results by now," said Brittney Nystrom, director of policy and legal affairs for the National Immigration Forum, a Washington-based think tank. "This statistical oversight piece was the lynchpin of the assurances that (Homeland Security) was going to operate this program in a way that respected civil rights and civil liberties. So the fact that we haven't seen any results from that project concerns me."


 Recent posts at CIS  below

See  here for the blog.  The CIS main page is here


1. Op-ed: Inviting criminals across the border: Obama’s toothless immigration enforcement
2. Speech: The Economic Case for Limiting Immigration


3. Who Got Jobs During the Obama Presidency?: Native and Immigrant Employment Growth, 2009 to 2012

4. Media Describes Illegal Aliens As “Undocumented Californians”

5. Language in the Immigration Debate Associated Press Pushes Back Against Illegal Alien Activists


6. Agent Ivie Death Likely a Result of Confusion Surrounding Drug Smuggling; Another Agent Dead in Texas

7. Extreme Immigration Positions in the U.S. Island Territories

8. You Need a Professor to Write Something This Dumb

9. The Imperfect Market in Services Facilitating Illegal Immigration

10. Another Potential Government Eye on Our Borders, but Not the Type Americans Need

11. Hopeless – Often Pointless – Cases Clog Immigration Courts

12. Assimilation Too Scary for Some This Halloween

13. Digging for Statistical Nuggets in a Decade's Worth of Immigration Enforcement Data

14. A Continuing Problem for Restrictionists: The Missing Allies

15. Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me

16. Eternal Vigilance Is the Price of Border Security

17. Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis: The Quasi-Student Terrorist

18. Migrant Advocate Cites Increasing Exodus from Central America to el Norte

19. Immigration and Driving the American Way

20. You Might Say that Immigration Marriage Fraud Runs in the Family

21. Rising Concern About Immigrants in Greece

No comments:

Post a Comment