Friday, August 28, 2009

Letter to Obama about the 287(g) program

Homeland Security has promoted the "Secure Communities" initiative that supposedly focuses enforcement on the criminal and fugitive element of the undocumented population. One part of that is the 287(g) program that promotes cooperation between ICE and local police. More than 500 civil-rights, immigrant advocates, religious and labor groups have signed on to a letter to President Barack Obama protesting the recent expansion of the program. The basic objections are that the program will lead to racial profiling and that it has not been restricted to ferreting out the dangerous criminals. Many have been deported for minor offenses under the program. Many also question the competence of local police to enforce immigration law and the abuses of the past. The Arizona Republic brings up the criticism of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Maricopa County Office as the worse offender. Meanwhile Los Angeles County, which is thinking seriously about demanding E-verify for all its contractors, will now begin to send the files of all inmates to ICE to verify their status. Ironically, ICE complains that it's not ready to take that number of referral's. (See Los Angeles Times article.)

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