Secure Communities ("S-Comm")

Document Date: September 28, 2012

Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see You Tube's privacy statement on their website and Google's privacy statement on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU's privacy statement, click here.

Secure Communities (S-Comm)—a federal immigration enforcement program being implemented by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—has become the subject of a nationwide controversy. In jurisdictions where S-Comm has been activated, any time an individual is arrested and booked into a local jail for any reason, his or her fingerprints are electronically run through ICE's immigration database. This allows ICE to identify people who may be non-citizens—including lawful immigrants and permanent residents—and potentially to initiate deportation proceedings against them. Because it targets people at the time of arrest, not conviction, S-Comm captures people who will never be charged with a state crime—including crime victims (including domestic violence victims), witnesses, and individuals who were wrongly arrested. S-Comm has also caused the unlawful detention of U.S. citizens.

S-Comm has disastrous and widespread impacts on civil liberties. It drives a wedge between local law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, deterring victims and witnesses from reporting crimes and undermining community policing partnerships that keep everyone safe from crime. It causes widespread unlawful detention without criminal charges or a hearing. It invites racial profiling by state and local law enforcement. And, despite ICE’s statements that S-Comm should focus on people convicted of serious crimes, the federal government’s own statistics have shown that it ensnares huge numbers of low-level offenders and non-criminals in its dragnet, fueling mass deportations of productive community members and the destruction of U.S. families. The ACLU calls for an end to this fundamentally flawed program.

7/23/2012 TRUST Act: California Could Set National Model for Correcting the Damage Done by S-Comm

4/13/2012 Whitewashing S-Comm's Immigration Enforcement Failures

12/14/2011 One Too Many: New York Times Highlights American Citizens Detained Under S-Comm

11/29/2011 Detain First, Investigate Later: How U.S. Citizens Are Unlawfully Detained Under S-Comm

8/25/2011 DHS Told Loud and Clear: Stop Tearing Immigrant Families Apart

7/20/2012 ACLU Statement for House Homeland Security Hearing on DHS State and Local Partnerships

4/25/2012 ACLU Reacts to Office of Inspector General’s Reports on Secure Communities Program

11/30/2011 End Secure Communities Now

10/5/2011 ACLU: Sec. Napolitano’s Emphasis on S-Comm Program Will Lead to Racial Profiling, Other Civil Rights Violations

6/17/2011 Secure Communities Reforms Fail to Fix Fundamentally Flawed Program

7/26/11 Secure Communities Issue Brief

11/10/10 ACLU Statement on Secure Communities

Sign up to be the first to hear about how to take action.