Secure Communities, immigrant families, undocumented students
What is secure communities?
Purpose: According to the agreement between ICE and the state police, the goal of Secure Communities is to identify people in custody who are charged with or convicted of a serious criminal offense; to prioritize their removal.
Statistics: According to the most recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement statistics, 78% of immigrants arrested between November 2009 and October 2010 through Illinois’ Secure Communities program had no criminal convictions. Of those deported, 53% were not criminals.
How it’s playing out: Those who work with the undocumented have stated that many are stopped for minor infractions such as front window obstruction caused by a rosary hanging over their rearview mirror. They are subsequently arrested for driving without a license and taken to police stations to be fingerprinted.
Process: Fingerprints are normally run through the FBI’s criminal database. Under Secure Communities, they are also scanned by ICE’s immigration database, which instructs local law enforcement agencies if the individual should be turned over to ICE. Last year [the U.S.] had the highest rate of deportations. Almost 400,000 people were deported. That means 400,000 families were impacted, destroyed and uprooted from the communities they’re helping bring up.