U.S. gov't claims success of controversial Secure Communities program (2)

16:31, September 03, 2010      

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"The Secure Communities initiative reflects ICE's ongoing commitment to smart, tough enforcement strategies that help ensure the apprehension of dangerous criminal aliens," ICE Director John Morton told reporters.

"Expediting removals decreases the amount of time these individuals spend in ICE custody, saving taxpayers money and strengthening public safety," he said.

However, Immigration advocates complained that Secure Communities funnels people into the "mismanaged" ICE detention and deportation system, and serves as a "smokescreen" for racial profiling.

"This program creates an explosion of Arizona-like enforcement at a time when the results have proven disastrous," Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organization Network, told reporters.

Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Sunita Patel also said the Secure Communities program "co-opts local police departments to do ICE's dirty work at significant cost to community relations and police objectives."

Patel said without full and truthful information about the program's actual mission and impact, police are operating in the dark.

"The bottom line is that thrusting police into the business of federal immigration enforcement isn't good for anyone," he added.

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