Archive | Government Documents
New Developments in Secure Communities and the Next Generation Identification Initiative
Advocates Confront FBI about its Role in Massive Deportation Program
In June, advocates traveled to Buffalo, New York to confront the FBI about its role in the Secure Communities deportation Program. Representatives from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Criminal Defense Immigration Project of the New York State Defenders Association, and the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic, and NYU doctoral candidate Travis Hall attended the semi-annual meeting of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board (APB) and presented to the group about the negative impacts of S-Comm on public safety, community policing, and privacy. They also obtained updates on developments in Secure Communities and the Next Generation Identification initiative, of which S-Comm is one part.
An analysis from the Electronic Frontier Foundation of the privacy concerns raised by these new developments will be available shortly as well.
The APB advises the FBI on how to manage the FBI’s civil and criminal databases. It was the APB that first decided to make Secure Communities a mandatory program. But the APB made this decision without considering any of the public safety and privacy issues that have made S-Comm so controversial. At the June meeting, advocates forced those issues onto the agenda.
The next APB meeting is scheduled for December, in a location to be determined. For more information, or to get involved, contact jkarp at ndlon.org.
Pursuant to prior federal court opinions in NDLON v. ICE holding that ICE must disclose information about agency “messaging” and already adopted policies related to Secure Communities, ICE recently released previously withheld information providing insight into the current immigration detention debate. In an internal email exchange from Phyllis Coven to various ICE officials regarding the agency’s response to a New York Times inquiry, ICE maintained that due to Secure Communities, detention reforms would not lead to a reduction in detention capacity. The email links prospective growth in detention to activation of Secure Communities nationwide by 2013. (Doc. ID 0.798.162573 at pages 1-2.)
In addition, ICE released six undated Statements of Objectives (“SOO”) which serve as requests for proposals for new detention facilities in the following areas: Miami, San Francisco, North Carolina/South Carolina, Kansas City Area, Northeast, Texas. The disclosure of all SOOs is important to understand the true nature of ICE’s so-called civil detention reforms.
Click here to download the documents (zip file)
Recently, after much opposition by local immigrant rights organization, Florida Immigrant Coalition, and the residents of Southwest Ranches, the location of the proposed ICE detention center, ICE decided not to move forward with building a new detention center in the Miami area. For more information about the campaign: http://ccagoaway.org/2012/06/16/cca-goes-away/
To read an article about the Florida victory: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/broward/fl-ice-project-dead-20120615,0,4816411.story
FOIA Documents: Vulnerable Groups
On April 10, 2012, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network released 16 documents obtained though Freedom of Information Act litigation as part of the Uncover the Truth campaign.
The documents confirm that ICE has long been aware of particular risks, including civil rights concerns, that its Secure Communities (S-Comm) enforcement program poses to vulnerable groups like naturalized US Citizens, juveniles, and victims of crimes, including survivors of domestic violence.
Despite this awareness, ICE has responded reactively with either inadequate, cosmetic reforms or ad hoc solutions in individual cases. One such case is that of Isaura Garcia, a Los Angeles resident, mother and domestic violence survivor. The documents show ICE’s reaction to news about Ms. Garcia’s detention and placement in deportation proceedings after she called 911 for help. As documented in these e-mails, ICE’s response is a scrambled exercise in damage control, partnered with a willingness to blame their local law enforcement partner, the Los Angeles Police Department, rather than face up to the obvious: that S-Comm was the culprit the City of Los Angeles never invited.
A document shows that ICE expected local law enforcement to either alert ICE about crime victims or simply not fingerprint them in the first place. ICE’s subsequent June 2011 memo about prosecutorial discretion for victims and witnesses similarly puts the burden on individuals outside the agency – specifically, attorneys or advocates – to alert the agency about crime victims and witnesses caught up in S-Comm’s dragnet-like design.
ICE’s disregard is further illustrated by a document regarding another case about a domestic violence victim from Lodi, California, who was arrested with her abuser and deported before the resolution of any criminal proceedings. In discussing the case, ICE officials joked “This must have been a good fight!”
The lack of any process by ICE for protecting vulnerable groups shows that far from being targeted at “the worst of the worst,” S-Comm casts an immense net, in its wake leaving the community and local police to deal with the damage done to families and public safety.
The result has been fear in immigrant communities that has undermined public trust in local law enforcement and prevented victims and witnesses from coming forward, such as in the case of the sexual abuse tragedy at Miramonte Elementary School in the Los Angeles Unified School District which came to light this spring.
As for U.S. citizens caught up in S-Comm, one of the documents show that an individual’s claim of citizenship and the provision of a U.S. birth certificate failed to satisfy ICE. A Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General report released April 5, 2012 only further establishes that a substantial number of people identified through S-Comm are in fact U.S. citizens.
Advocates hope that the documents released today will shed further light on risks posed by S-Comm, and bring further momentum to state and local efforts to limit compliance with this deportation dragnet. The next release of documents will point to ICE’s inadequate handling of racial profiling problems associated with S-Comm.
This document contains a 3-page survey to LEAs (pages 35-37) about their booking processes and a number of Q&As about FBI and DHS procedures regarding fingerprint and information datasharing. This document can help localities develop an understanding of how quickly place of birth information is shared with ICE and at what stage of the booking and detention process, the detainer may drop. It also can help a community find out if a locality has sought funding to upgrade technology for Secure Communities or Next Generation Identification (NGI).