DHS Sends Troublingly Mixed Messages on Secure Communities Reform

UPDATE: ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña had this to say on Friday afternoon about her comments regarding Secure Communities: “Any effort at federal legislation now to mandate state and local law enforcement’s compliance with ICE detainers will, in our view, be a highly counterproductive step and lead to more resistance and less cooperation in our overall efforts to promote public safety.”  See full statement here.  -- 1:46 p.m., 3/20/2015

In her debut testimony before Congress yesterday, new Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldaña enthusiastically agreed with Rep. Mick Mulvaney’s (R-S.C.) suggestion that Congress “clarify the law” by forcing state and local compliance with ICE requests to keep people in jail after their release dates. 

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, Saldaña’s boss, struck a very different tone last November when he acknowledged “the increasing number of federal court decisions that hold that [detention based on ICE requests to] state and local law enforcement agencies violates the Fourth Amendment.” He pledged to reform, and rename, the Secure Communities immigration enforcement program – which relies on state and local detention of immigrants – in a way that “supports community policing and sustains the trust of all elements of the community in working with local law enforcement.”

Saldaña’s statement, however, directly contradicts her boss’s approach, not to mention a recent federal appeals court decision that ICE can only make non-binding detention requests. Thankfully, neither she nor Congress can “clarify” the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment and principles of federalism prohibit forcing state and local jurisdictions to deprive people of their liberty based only on an ICE official’s suspicion of immigration violations. Saldaña’s testimony calls into question DHS’s commitment to reform the failed Secure Communities program, which has caused rampant racial profiling, hundreds of thousands of unjust family separations, and deters immigrants from calling the police – even after witnessing or being victimized by crime

Secretary Johnson stated four months ago that a new Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) would be implemented to replace Secure Communities “almost immediately.” Among other proposed changes, the secretary directed ICE to discontinue many of its requests for detention. The ACLU analyzed PEP’s strengths and weaknesses. However, four months after the secretary’s announcement, PEP still does not exist and the stench of Secure Communities lingers on. 

Saldaña’s few choice words asking Congress to force sheriffs sworn to uphold the Constitution to violate their oaths, and contradict their communities’ best judgments about local public safety, were shocking. By saying “Thank you, Amen, yes!” to Rep. Mulvaney, Saldaña insulted all the states and localities across the country who have wisely decided to stay out of immigration enforcement. 

Saldaña’s answer casts serious doubt on whether DHS is truly committed to rebuilding the trust so badly damaged by Secure Communities. She and DHS must immediately clarify their true intentions and end ICE’s unconstitutional detention requests.

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Anonymous

This entry is so bogus on every level.

"hundreds of thousands of unjust family separations"

Who is it that put that their family in this position? Does the ACLU realize that we do not want illegal immigration in the United States? What does illegal immigration have to do with civil liberties? Foreigners do not have a right to enter our country without our permission.

It doesn't matter if you're related to someone from a foreign country. Is there ANY law which says a foreigner has a RIGHT to enter the country or be a US citizen if he is related to someone living here? Does the ACLU realize that citizenship is intentionally not given out that way, and that we don't want it to be given out that way, and that it makes sense for it to not be given out that way? Does the ACLU realize that this logic means we would have to eventually give the entire world US citizenship? Does the ACLU realize that it is saying illegal immigrants should stop at nothing to evade border patrol, because if the border patrol catches you, you're a dirty criminal that should be deported, but if you get past the border patrol, then we're pretending your presence is justified. The ACLU is promoting a survival-of-the-fittest test for illegal immigrants! The only problem with that is it makes them the same as those slimy, disingenuous politicians who are also inconsistent on illegal immigration, thus perpetuating the problem. Enforcement doesn't just stop at the border! What delusion makes you think illegal immigrants are more "legal" if they can just somehow evade the border patrol at the border?

"...and deters immigrants from calling the police – even after witnessing or being victimized by crime."

You make it sound like illegal immigrants aren't guilty of anything. Illegal immigrants ARE criminals. Illegal immigrants entered our country illegally. That means they broke the law, and it's a serious one. Imagine if a country were invaded by another country. That's what illegal immigrants are doing. And that's not to mention the fact that they are violating our labor laws every day. How can the ACLU possibly be supporting this!? It's like the ACLU lost its soul and is now trying to figure out how to best destroy things it should be supporting. And these illegal immigrants send a LOT of their illegal earnings out of the country, unlike a US citizens who would spent almost all of it right here! Worst of all, the ACLU is propagating this delusional idea that there are "illegal immigrant criminals" and "hard working illegal immigrant saints"! It's almost as if no one from the ACLU has ever lived around illegal immigrants. All those "hard working" illegal immigrants are more dangerous than the criminals. Why? Because they are trying to manipulate every governmental body they are under - local, state, and federal. They protest and demand things from us that are completely illegitimate. When and if their numbers increase, I shudder to think at how they will try to hold the US hostage.

Now just for the record, we are having to borrow money from China to pay for everything. Our debt has passed $18 trillion. Our debt-to-GDP ratio is 107%. 107%!!! I don't want to borrow one more single dime for illegal immigrants for ANYTHING. And all those articles referenced in the story. Who is to blame in each of those stories? It's not the US and it's not US citizens. I don't want to have anything to do with those problems Consistent deportation of the illegal immigrants, again, is the only policy that should be pursued. And do you know what happens when illegal immigrants were shown the door in Arizona? Did the world explode? Did illegal immigrants all just fall over and die? No, they went back to live in Mexico and their kids starting going to school in Mexico. This whole issue is full of anti-American mythology, and it benefits almost no one American.

This is unacceptable. The ACLU is being hijacked for a pro-illegal-immigration agenda. Never mind the fact that their agenda in this matter is completely thoughtless and harmful, as mentioned above. I call for the ACLU leadership to stop supporting illegal immigration solely on the grounds that it is NOT a civil liberties issue. If that is not possible, I call on the ACLU leadership to be changed. The world will need to know what is happening with the ACLU and its wayward un-American way with illegal immigration. The ACLU shall not be hijacked by a pro-illegal-immigration special interest group.

Country: Mexico
Public debt as % of GDP (CIA): 35.4
Gross government debt as % of GDP (IMF): 43.519
Net government debt as % of GDP (IMF): 37.998

Country: U.S.
Public debt as % of GDP (CIA): 72.50
Gross government debt as % of GDP (IMF): ***106.525***
Net government debt as % of GDP (IMF): 87.859

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_public_debt

"[Mexico] reported that over 23,000 of its citizens returned to the country from Arizona between June and September 2010 [after SB 1070 was passed]. A report by Seminario Niñez Migrante found that about 8,000 students entered into Sonora public schools in 2009–2011 with families quoting the American economy and SB 1070 as the main causes."

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_SB_1070#Effects

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