National Campaign and FOIA Lawsuit Challenge Secrecy of ICE Program

CONTACT: [email protected]

*** Media Advisory***Live Webcast***

Washington, DC – The National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, advocates and community members will hold a press conference in Washington, DC and webcasted live at on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. announcing a lawsuit demanding records related to the little-known United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) program “Secure Communities.” The program further embroils local and state law enforcement agencies in federal immigration enforcement. The press conference will also launch “Uncovering the Truth,” a week-long national campaign of coordinated actions and advocacy.

“ICE’s so-called Secure Communities program is growing at an alarming rate-more than 150 jurisdictions so far-without public knowledge or discourse,” said CCR attorney Sunita Patel. “S.B. 1070 and the recent, dangerous ICE raids in Arizona have already proven that ICE and local or state police collaboration will only further erode public trust in law enforcement, systematize racial profiling, create incentives for illegal arrests and prevent police from doing their job, failing to keep our communities safe.”

WHAT: Press conference announcing FOIA lawsuit and launch of “Uncovering the Truth” week of coordinated action

WHEN: April 27, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: The Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. and streaming at

WHO: Ron Hampton, National Black Police Association Executive Director; Ben Jealous, NAACP, President and CEO (Invited); Pablo Alvarado, NDLON Executive Director; Jaime Contreras, 32BJ SEIU Capitol Area Director & District Chair; Sunita Patel, CCR Attorney; Johnny Barnes, Executive Director of the National Capitol Area ACLU; Sameera Hafiz, Legal Momentum Senior Staff Attorney

For more information on the Secure Communities program and the FOIA request, media contacts, press conferences and events visit Follow the campaign on Twitter by searching for #StopICE.

Lawmakers protest possible deportation of Langley Park mother

A protest is planned Monday to fight the possible deportation of a 26-year-old Langley Park mother who was arrested for selling phone cards without a license from her home.

“She’s not a threat,” said Del. Victor Ramirez (D-Dist. 47) of Cheverly. “Should you really be deporting a non-violent mother of three? There are much bigger problems we could be using our resources for.”

Four county police officers arrested Florinda Faviola Lorenzo-Desimilian at her apartment in the Gables Residential complex Tuesday night for allegedly selling pre-paid phone cards out of her home. She was charged with doing business without a trader’s license, which is a misdemeanor, according to court records.

Read the full article at the website.

ACLU: The Persistence of Racial Profiling in Gwinnett

Published March 2010
The Persistence of Racial Profiling in Gwinnett
Time for Accountability, Transparency, and an End to 287(g)

The most recent stop occurred when Juan was leaving work and an officer from the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Department asked him to pull his car aside. Although Juan asked him up to five times why he was pulled over, the officer never answered him. Rather, the officer demanded his driver’s license and screamed at him for asking questions. Juan showed the officer a valid license and was eventually released without having been issued a citation. However, Juan still does not know why he was detained.

Juan now avoids certain areas of Sugar Hill to avoid harassment by the police.


Juan’s story is merely one example of the prevalence of racial profiling in Georgia and the United States, as documented by numerous reports on this problem. About half of the states within the United States have enacted legislation to eradicate racial profiling within their boundaries. Georgia is among those states that have no laws to prohibit racial profiling, as the Georgia General Assembly has rejected repeated attempts to pass such a law. Accordingly, law enforcement personnel throughout Georgia may continue to stop individuals based solely on their race or ethnicity, often without any measure of accountability. This is of particular concern in Gwinnett County, where testimonies affirm that officers disproportionately target people of color for pretextual stops, investigations, and enforcement. The incidents of racial profiling in Gwinnett County have been particularly exacerbated after the implementation of the 287(g) program, which allows local law enforcement to participate in enforcement of federal immigration laws. Both before and after the implementation of this program, the ACLU of Georgia received complaints from drivers, pedestrians, and Gwinnett community members showing that police officers are targeting immigrants and people of color for stops, searches, and interrogations.

Download the full Gwinnett report in PDF format.

Listen to the Podcast that accompanies this report:

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Rights Groups Call Effects of Shrouded ICE-Local Law Enforcement Collaboration on Communities Insidious

CONTACT: [email protected]

February 3, 2010, New York, NY — Today, the National Day Laborer Organization Network (NDLON), the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesting information pertaining to Secure Communities, a little-known program of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency launched in March 2008. The program, which ICE claims targets “dangerous criminal aliens,” further involves local and state law enforcement agencies in federal immigration enforcement. The three groups say that since the inception of the program, there has been a marked increase in racial profiling, excessive costs to state and local government and due process violations.

“The President has not only broken his promise to tackle immigration reform in the first year, the Department of Homeland Security is expanding a dangerous and ill-conceived program that is at the heart of our broken system,” said NDLON Director Pablo Alvarado. “President Obama can’t blame this on Congress—this program should be examined, debated and stopped if we are to have real comprehensive immigration reform.”

“This nothing more than a sanitized version of the 287(g) program—a program guaranteed to fail as we saw in Arizona with Sheriff Arpaio,” said Bridget Kessler, Clinical Teaching Fellow at the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. “It is already extremely challenging for local law enforcement to work with immigrant communities because of distrust and fear of deportation; this program will have disastrous effects on community safety.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Secure Communities has been implemented in at least 95 jurisdictions with plans to expand nationwide by 2013. It includes a biometrics component that requires an individual’s fingerprints to be run through multiple databases upon arrest for any reason, even if no charges are brought. Advocates and attorneys say that in addition to concerns presented by relying on potentially inaccurate and erroneous information in those databases, the program functions as little more than a dragnet to funnel even more people into the already overburdened ICE detention and removal system.

“This program is designed to fail because it relies on information from infamously inaccurate databases. We’ve already seen an increase in racial profiling, pre-textual arrests and mistaken identity of U.S. citizens,” said CCR attorney Sunita Patel. “Combined with the lack of regulation and publicly available information on Secure Communities, ICE will be essentially immune to accountability or transparency. With a budget reaching the billions, taxpayers should be very concerned.”

The FOIA request covers materials necessary to provide the public with comprehensive information on the Secure Communities Program, including policies, procedures and objectives; fiscal impact; data and statistical information; individual records; communications; and assessment records.

For more information on the Secure Communities program and the FOIA request, visit CCR’s Secure Communities case page.