Oct 1 2010
Local Communities May Not Be Able to Opt Out of the Secure Communities Program
Recent communication from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) implies that local communities, even those that chose to opt out, may be required to participate in the Secure Communities program. The program, which enables ICE to use fingerprints collected by state and local law enforcement officials as a means to identify illegal immigrants, is considered by many local law officials to be a detriment to their ability to provide adequate police services to their communities.
Secure Communities was widely considered to be optional and many local communities, including the District of Columbia, San Francisco and Santa Clara County (CA), had chosen to opt out of participation in the program. However, a senior ICE official recently commented that ICE will have access to fingerprints forwarded to FBI from state and local law enforcement officials, regardless of local communities’ wishes to not participate in the program.