United States Hardens its Stance on Immigrant Policy

February 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

After months of internal wrangling and confusion over an ambitious nationwide program allowing state and local police agencies to identify immigrants with criminal records, Obama administration immigration officials have decided to take a hard line against communities that try to delay or cancel their participation in the program, according to documents made public. The program, Secure Communities, was initiated in late 2008 and is a centerpiece of the White House strategy for enforcing immigration laws. The documents include e-mails and other materials showing deliberations among officials of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which runs the program. The documents show that well into the second year of the program, as officials were moving forcefully to extend it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the country, the officials remained deeply confused over whether state and local governments could decline to join it. The internal discussions intensified as cities, counties and states — including San Francisco, Santa Clara County, Colorado, New York, Oregon and Washington — were considering whether to opt out. But late last year, the documents show, officials from ICE reaffirmed its policy that every local jurisdiction in the country would be required to join the program by 2013. The officials developed a plan to isolate and pressure communities that did not want to participate. (NY Times)

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